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“I’m not asking, I’m telling you,” Sheriff shows up to standoff drunk, tries to take command

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A formal complaint has been filed against a New Mexico Sheriff after city police officers accused him of showing up drunk to the scene of a standoff and tried to take command.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan arrived at a SWAT standoff in plain clothes and smelling of alcohol.

Española police officers had tracked a man accused of stabbing another person to a home. The suspect, identified as Phillip Chacon, had barricaded himself inside and was believed to be armed and dangerous.

Sheriff Lujan showed up soon after and told one of the officers that he would bring in Chacon himself. When the officer rebuffed him Sheriff Lujan said, “I’m not asking, I’m telling you.”

Later when he was asked why he was even at the scene, Lujan responded, “This is my country.”

Command staff at the scene confirmed with each other that Lujan did smell like alcohol and attempted to keep him out of the ‘hot zone’ as SWAT attempted to arrest Chacon.

Sheriff Lujan then broke the hot zone, approached the front door, banged on it, and yelled for Chacon to come out peacefully. When no one came out and there was no response he ordered the officers to leave. He then showed the officers a text stating it was from Chacon, who was not at the mobile home.

Chacon eventually gave up to the police without incident.

Sheriff Lujan has not been formally charged or disciplined, but the complaint has been filed.



He’s been previously accused of helping Chacon escape the state and avoid arrest, though he denies the accusations and says he has a professional relationship with Chacon.

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