SANTA FE COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A senior citizen suspected of drunk driving would not go down — literally — without a bit of a fight.
It began with a Santa Fe County Sheriff’s deputy pulling over a pickup truck on Highway 84/285 late at night on June 13. It ended with Gary Roybal, 67, on the ground, cursing at the deputy.
“The reason why I pulled you over is cause you’re swerving right there,” the deputy said to Roybal as he approached the pickup.
The deputy said he spotted a beer can in the front seat of the truck, so he asked Roybal to step out and do a few field sobriety tests. Roybal agreed to do them, but said he doesn’t drink and hasn’t had anything to drink.
“With your eyes and your eyes only, follow the tip of my finger,” the deputy told Roybal.
“Okay,” Roybal answered, but he turned his whole head to the side when the deputy moved his finger. The interaction was captured on the deputy’s lapel and dash cameras.
When Roybal couldn’t do the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, it was on to the next test.
“So, what I want you to do is put your left foot, imagine, on that line,” the officer told Roybal.
“What is left?” Roybal asked.
“This is your left,” the deputy responded, showing him his left foot.
Each time, the deputy has to repeatedly explain the instructions. Roybal said he’s old and doesn’t understand.
“I have an odor of intoxicating beverage coming from your breath,” the deputy told Roybal.
“Yes, you do,” Roybal responded.
But then, Roybal said he doesn’t drink and hasn’t had anything to drink that night.
The deputy gave him the opportunity to do a few more tests, including counting on his fingers 1-2-3-4, 4-3-2-1, and counting backwards.
“I want you to count back from 75 to 54,” the deputy said.
“I’m not counting back nothing,” Roybal responded.
At that point, the deputy told Roybal he was going to have to arrest him.
“Do what you have to do,” Roybal said.
“Okay, turn around and place your hands behind your back.”
“I’m not going to obey you,” Roybal responded.
The deputy even gave Roybal one last chance to do a backwards counting test.
“What I want you to do is count back from 76 to 54,” the deputy said.
“I don’t do math.”
When the deputy moved in to arrest him, Roybal wouldn’t put his hands behind his back. The deputy told him to do it multiple times before warning Roybal he was going to be taken to the ground if he didn’t comply.
The take down ended in a rough tumble as Roybal banged into the guardrail on the side of the road. He bumped the guardrail pretty hard, but it didn’t seem to phase him once he was on the ground.
“Sit up,” the deputy said.
“I’m not going to.”
“Sit up. What’s going on with you?”
“Hey, f*** you,” Roybal told him.
“What’s your problem?”
“Just f***ing get the f*** out of here,” Roybal answered.
Roybal told the deputy not to help him. Other law enforcement arrived on scene and took Roybal to the back of the patrol car, where he went silent. He wouldn’t even acknowledge a firefighter who asked to check him out.
“Is it okay if I check your pulse and stuff like that? Just do a few things or do you want to just refuse all care and go head and go?” the fireman asked.
Roybal stayed silent.
He was taken to jail, charged with DWI, open container and resisting arrest. Court records show he has been arrested for nearly identical charges a little over 20 years ago.
KRQE News 13 called Roybal’s lawyer, Daniel Marlowe, who claims Roybal was not drunk that night. Rather, Marlowe said, Roybal was suffering from back pains.