Thursday, June 5, 2008
Cameraman Had Aided Officers
By T.J. Wilham
Journal Staff Writer
Veteran KOB-TV cameraman Rick Foley helped authorities find a stolen vehicle one day before he was attacked by an Albuquerque police officer, according to police records.
"I don't find it ironic," KOB-TV news director Rhonda Aubrey said. "Every day our photographers try to be good citizens out there."
Police were called May 28 to Cliff's Amusement Park, 4800 Osuna NE, after a groundskeeper reported seeing a DirecTV van run over an automated teller machine several times before taking off northbound on Frontage Road from Osuna.
The groundskeeper said the van had been gone about five to seven minutes before police arrived. About $6,300 was missing, according to police records.
Officers searched the area looking for the van. About 30 minutes later, a KOB-TV producer called police reporting that Foley had found the van in an industrial parking lot near Cliff's, according to police records.
Foley was filming footage for a newscast and spotted the vehicle abandoned.
About 24 hours later, police didn't like what Foley was filming.
While covering a police standoff near Copper and Charleston NE, rookie officer Daniel Guzman told Foley to move to a different location, according to a police report.
Foley at the time was some distance from the police cars blocking the street and was outside an area that had been blocked off by officers.
Shortly after the officer told Foley he needed to move, a video captured by Foley's camera shows the officer pacing and sizing up the photographer, then lunging at him.
Foley was handcuffed, placed in the back of a police car and cited for "refusing to obey an officer." He has a June 10 court date in Metropolitan Court.
APD Police Chief Ray Schultz asked the city's independent review officer to investigate the incident.
Guzman, who transferred to APD from the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department in April 2007, remains on duty.
A criminal investigation into the incident has yet to be opened. Aubrey said station officials are considering filing a misdemeanor complaint against Guzman in Metropolitan Court.
"That's one of the things we are talking about doing, but we have not taken any action yet," Aubrey said. "I feel like the video speaks for itself. If you watch the video, it clearly shows that Rick was the victim in all of this."
Guzman didn't receive the same amount of training from APD as most officers. Since he was a "lateral transfer" from APS, Guzman, the son of another longtime Albuquerque police officer, went through a six-week class with APD's academy. Other APD officers must complete a 24-week class with the academy.
APS police officials said Guzman went through the state's law enforcement academy.