Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Fired APD Cop Hired by Bernalillo
By Rozanna M. Martinez
Journal Staff Writer
A former Albuquerque police officer who was fired after being captured on camera attacking a KOB-TV cameraman has been hired by the Bernalillo Police Department.
Daniel Guzman's hiring was approved by the Town Council on Nov. 10 and he is now a Bernalillo police officer.
In July, Guzman was placed on paid administrative leave following a May 29 incident in which he was caught on camera attacking veteran cameraman Rick Foley. As part of APD protocol, an independent review officer investigated the case. The findings were reported to Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz, who decided to fire Guzman on Sept. 11.
Bernalillo Police Chief Fred Radosevich told the Journal on Tuesday that a background check was done on Guzman and the only incident that came up was that involving Foley.
Radosevich said Guzman was “very forthcoming” about the incident.
“He had no other incidents with (APD) or his other employers,” Radosevich said. “We looked at that ... We reviewed the internal affairs investigation and again it's a red flag; however, it's the only incident that he had and we decided that everybody deserves a second chance.”
Radosevich said the officer who did Guzman's background check also spoke with some of Guzman's previous supervisors at a couple of law enforcement agencies he had worked at previous to his position with APD.
“All of his supervisors and the people we talked to gave him excellent reviews,” Radosevich said. “I also have two (Bernalillo police) officers that have personal knowledge of him and went to the police academy with him and they both thought that he was a good officer.”
On May 29, Foley was covering a police standoff near Copper and Charleston NE when Guzman told him to move to a different location, according to a criminal complaint. Foley was some distance from police cars blocking the street and asked for Guzman's name and badge number.
Foley's camera captured the incident. The video shows Guzman pacing and sizing Foley up, then lunging at him. Foley was handcuffed and cited for refusing to obey an officer, according to the complaint. He was eventually released and the charges against him were dropped.
“In our job, young officers make mistakes,” Radosevich said. “What you hope for is you learn from those mistakes and don't make them again. You look at each (new hire) on a case-by-case basis and evaluate it, and that's what we did here. We did the background and we felt that the guy deserves a chance.”
Guzman will be a patrol officer with the Bernalillo department and make slightly more than $19 an hour, according to Radosevich.