Police chief investigation conclusion expected next week

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

The investigation into the Tucumcari police chief’s use of a Taser on a 14-year-old girl has not been completed.

City Manager Bobbye Rose said Friday the investigation firm handling the case requested additional documentation Thursday and she anticipates a conclusion next week.

Chief Roger Hatcher remains on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, Rose said.

Hatcher has said he will not comment on the case, at the request of city officials.

The city of Tucumcari hired Albuquerque-based Robert Caswell Investigations to look into the incident and Hatcher’s use of force. The Taser unit has been sent off for analysis, investigators have conducted interviews and are reviewing documentation, Rose said.

Kailee Martinez was Tased by Hatcher on July 2 when she ran from him after she fought with her mother.

One of the Taser probes became lodged in her head and was later surgically removed at an Albuquerque hospital.

Police records obtained Friday show Hatcher filled out a statement of probable cause to charge Martinez with domestic battery and resisting, evading and obstructing an officer.

Officials said the girl has not been charged.

Romaine Serna, spokeswoman for the Children Youth and Families Division, said juvenile authorities decided to work with the family rather than seek judicial process in the case.

“We did receive a referral on this individual and right now the local juvenile probation office is assessing the needs of the family and will work with the youth and the family and provide services as the family identifies its needs,” she said Friday.

Though law enforcement may recommend charges against a juvenile, it is up to CYFD authorities to determine if a case goes forward or not, she said.

“This a situation that calls for an intervention and our intervention is to provide services and to help this family address whatever issues they are going through in their lives,” Serna said.

“We believe that it is in the best interest of this family to provide services and to continue to work with the family,” she said.

In a written statement to police, Stacy Akin said her daughter scratched her and hit her in the face when she took her phone away.

“We went to the ground,” Akin wrote in a description of the fight with her daughter. “A relative helped me get the phone away from her but she clawed and scratched my neck. After I had the phone and was away from her she came at me again, this time hitting me a couple of times in the face causing my mouth to bleed.”

Akin said she then brought her daughter to police headquarters, but the girl walked away.

Hatcher was contacted and found Martinez at a city park.

“I called her by name and told her to stop as I needed to talk to her,” Hatcher wrote in his July 6 statement of probable cause.

He has said he shot her with his Taser because she refused to stop, he didn’t know where she was going and she had run into the street without looking.