Man arrested in Santa Fe Cafe incident - Albuquerque Journal

Man arrested in Santa Fe Cafe incident

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – A Santa Fe resident accused of a disturbance last weekend at a popular city restaurant has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault after allegedly driving his car toward the restaurant before stopping, then displaying a gun.

Damien Pretto

Damien Pretto was arrested Monday night and booked on the assault charge, according to court documents and online Santa Fe County Adult Detention Center records.

Pretto had been coming to the downtown Cafe Pasqual on Don Gaspar for some time, where management provided him with free coffee and cookies, but, more recently, after he began visiting “numerous times a day,” they decided to start charging him, according to an affidavit for an arrest warrant.

On Saturday, he came and went from the restaurant several times after paying for coffee and yelling obscenities in the middle of the restaurant.

A patron who was sitting inside near a front window with three friends, saw Pretto showing a video on his phone to a mother and two teenagers seated at a table. As the mother tried to avoid looking at the phone, Pretto became agitated and started making arm gestures “and making box(ing) type motions with his hands.”

Within a couple of minutes, the woman, who was dining with friends, saw a white car driven by Pretto back up and position his car across the street “facing the window where she was seated.” Pretto made “a sudden movement” driving toward the window and the woman feared “the defendant was about to drive into the building, injuring her,” according to court documents.

Pretto then stopped, got out and jumped onto a green table outside by the window as another patron yelled that he had a gun.

The customers got “to the floor and crawled towards the back” as Pretto left, according to police.

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