Chief Ray Schultz's and Deputy Chief Allen Banks' Actions are Being Credited for Saving Lives
Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz and Deputy Chief Allen Banks were participating in the NM State Fair Parade by tossing candy to children while they rode segweys.
However, the city's two highest ranking police officers also helped throw a suspected drunk driver in jail after he sped through the parade route on Saturday, nearly hitting floats, horses and children who had to jump out of the way. Two New Mexico State Police officers on bicycles also assisted in capturing the drunken driver.
The two chiefs chased the suspected drunk driver on their segweys and at one point, Chief Schultz had to use his ASP to bust out the car window in an attempt to get the suspect to stop.
Now Jose Gandara is behind bars on charges of aggravated DWI, felony fleeing from law enforcement and tampering with evidence. His blood alcohol content was .15 percent, nearly twice the presumptive level of alcohol intoxication in the State of New Mexico. An open container of alcohol was found in his vehicle on scene.
The incident began at about 9:30 a.m. when a black Pontiac Grand Am illegally cut into the parade line from a side street. Schultz and Banks were parade participants travelling on motorized segweys. After spotting the vehicle, someone quickly got the Chief's attention who then approached the car on his segwey.
When the Chief tried to speak to the driver he immediately saw and smelled signs of possible alcohol intoxication. The man's breath reeked of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot.
As Deputy Chief Banks tried to redirect the vehicle to a side street, the driver, later identified as Gandara, sped off passing floats, parade marchers and spectators.
Chief Schultz immediately chased after Gandara on his segwey yelling for him to stop and blowing his whistle to alert the crowd to move out of the way. Deputy Chief Allen Banks followed, also blowing his whistle and communicating with other officers on his police radio in an attempt to get the car stopped.
During the pursuit, children and parents had to jump out of the way. At one point, several bystanders, people on horses and bicycle-mounted officers jumped in front of the vehicle in an attempt to get the driver to stop. However, Gandara drove on, nearly striking them and forcing them to dodge out of the way. Witnesses and police reported that Gandara came within inches of striking children with his vehicle on several occasions.
The vehicle was eventually stopped and Gandara was taken into custody. Chief Schultz and a State Police officer were treated for minor cuts on their hands and arms.
During the pursuit, a parade participant was hit by Gandara's side view mirror and a spectator had their foot run over.
After the arrest was made the crown cheered as Albuquerque Police and New Mexico State Police Officers took Gandara away in handcuffs.