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Commission candidate charged in altercation over wild horses

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A Sandoval County Commission candidate is charged with misdemeanors battery and trespassing.

Gary Miles of Placitas, a Republican running for the District 1 commission seat, was charged in connection with a July 3 incident. He declined to comment.

The other man involved, Robert Woodall, was charged with misdemeanor aggravated battery, according to the New Mexico Courts website.

Gary Miles.

Gary Miles.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Sandoval County Magistrate Court, a county sheriff’s sergeant was dispatched to Placitas because of an altercation.

The sergeant wrote that he spoke with Miles, a wild-horse activist, who was agitated and told him three horses were corraled on Anasazi Road. He ordered the property owner, Woodall, to release the animals.

Miles told the sergeant Woodall used an obscenity and told him to leave. Miles said he wasn’t on Woodall’s property but on the road.

The sergeant wrote that Miles had an abrasion on his face and his glasses were askew and broken. When the sergeant asked if he’d been assaulted, Miles said Woodall hit him in the face, and then he pushed Woodall down and let out the horses, according to the complaint.

When the sergeant spoke with Woodall, Woodall said Miles was verbally abusive, got out of his truck and made a gesture with his fist as if he were going to strike Woodall, according to the complaint. Woodall said he slapped both sides of Miles’ face and Miles’ glasses fell to the ground.

Then, Woodall told the sergeant, Miles pushed him to the ground. The sergeant observed several small abrasions on Woodall’s arms and legs.

According to the complaint, Woodall told Miles to leave, but Miles ignored him and dismantled the temporary corral holding the horses.

The sergeant wrote that a “No trespassing” sign was clearly posted at the east entrance of Woodall’s property.

No phone number was available for Woodall, and no attorney for him was listed in court records.

Miles was charged with bribery of a witness, a third-degree felony, several months ago on accusations that he told a Placitas couple he’d let them adopt wild horses if they’d drop harassment charges against a third party. He told the Observer he wasn’t guilty of the charges. The case is still pending in court.

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