The pictures of a uniformed New Mexico State Police officer having daytime, car-hood sex with a woman wearing ballet shoes – while a Chihuahua watches – has captured the nation’s imagination, or maybe its libido.
“I never expected it would go so far nationally,” Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert Garcia said Friday.
After records requests from the Journal and other New Mexico news organizations, Garcia recently released images of the cop copulating.
At least two Albuquerque TV stations broadcast or posted the photos online last week, and, since then, America can’t get enough.
The officer had been caught on a motion-sensitive government surveillance camera on Santa Fe County-owned La Bajada Ranch (formerly known as Santa Fe Canyon Ranch) near La Cienega. The camera was installed to take pictures of vandals or burglars.
The sheriff’s money quote since this news broke has been, repeatedly: “I’m glad it was not one of my deputies.”
State Police officials have refused to identify the officer, but the Journal has learned that he is Bert Lopez, the “State Police Officer of the Year” in State Police District 1 in 2010. He is on paid administrative leave while the department investigates.
The pictures, which show the back of the uniformed officer – complete with utility belt and handcuffs – leaning over a partially dressed woman who’s lying back on the hood with her legs wrapped around him, are titillating enough without the addition of a third party. In other words, the dog didn’t help.
Garcia this week was interviewed by CNN’s newsy comedienne Jeanne Moos, in a segment that focused heavily on the “small mammal pervert” Moos calls “the only eyewitness.”
One of the New Yorkers shown the sex-on-a-car photos by Moos described the pooch as “very voyeuristic animal” and another thought the little dog – watching from a few feet back before it gets under the officer’s legs in the second photo – was a squirrel, “gathering nuts.”
“If I was to say what kind of dog, I would say a little Chihuahua,” Garcia tells Moos over the phone.
Garcia also spoke with Fox News, he said. Then, he was contacted by Court TV and the BBC.
“I did not talk to them,” he said, “because I was actually getting fed up with this whole thing.”
Craig Ferguson, host of CBS’s “The Late Late Show,” cracked of the photos in his thick Scottish accent: “It just goes to show you, I’ll do anything to get out of a ticket.”
Shock-jock radio host Gary Craig entertained his listeners with claims he had scored an interview this week with the woman in the car-sex photos. His radio show Craig and Company is broadcast on the Connecticut station 96.5 TIC FM.
Sure enough, a woman gets on and during a lengthy interview says she has “a thing for uniforms.”
“That’s my Chihuahua,” she said of the famous dog. “She jumped out of the car. … She was barking the whole time.”
As it was being broadcast, Craig didn’t issue any disclaimers about the interview being a hoax, but he also didn’t explain why the woman in the New Mexico photos would be talking to a Connecticut radio station.
The radio station didn’t respond to Journal calls.
The website HispanicallySpeakingNews.com found an ethnic angle to the story, running details under the headline “NM Trooper & Dog Involved in Trooper-Sex-On-Car Case IDed. Both Latinos.”
Hispanically Speaking figures the pooch will be fine: “We think the Chihuahua was a little traumatized, but was probably given treats, to help him forget what he saw.”
On Youtube.com, the video “New mexico state police having sex caught on tape” has been viewed more than 22,000 times this week. The comments below the clip include “I think this is awesome!” “JUST BEHAVING LIKE A PIG!” and “i thought donuts and coffee was enough for these cops but i guess they have there cake and eat it too! lol.”
As the seedy story spreads across the web, Garcia wants to be done talking about it (“All I did was identify the agency and release the photos,” he said) and so do State Police.
“The department is very embarrassed by this incident,” said State Police spokesman Sgt. Tim Johnson. “We understand this has expanded beyond our local media outlets to a national level. That obviously furthers the embarrassment.”
Johnson has confirmed that an officer is on paid administrative leave. According to the Associated Press, he said investigators don’t believe any criminal acts occurred as the photos were snapped but that the officer will be held accountable for his actions.
Johnson reiterated, as he has all along, that “there’s 480 other officers that put on a uniform every day, including this day, and go out and make sound decisions to ensure the public’s safety and trust.”