RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A man who attacked a Rio Rancho Police officer is now suing the department for the incident, which was initially only going to be a traffic citation. He claims the officer went too far.
Rio Rancho Police say the confrontation, which ended with Timothy Lett getting pepper-sprayed, all started because he refused to pull over. This was after the officer noticed he was speeding on Unser near McMahon.
Instead of pulling over, the retired Bernalillo County firefighter led the officer to his home in Albuquerque where the two got into a scuffle. Lapel video shows the officer believed he had broken his arm.
The incident was two years ago, but now, Lett has filed this lawsuit claiming the officer never identified himself as an officer, trespassed on his property, and used excessive force with the pepper spray. While in the hospital that same night, he told another officer he was in fear for his life and claimed the officer didn’t properly do his job.
Officer: “He didn’t give you no direct commands or anything, come here? Come over here or anything like that?”
Lett: “I don’t recall those.”
However, the officer’s lapel video refutes his claims. In the video, the officer can clearly be heard asking Lett to turn around and put his hands on the car. Lett consistently refused. Lett was eventually sentenced for the incident to six-months at the Metropolitan Detention Center and one year of supervised probation. On top of the lawsuit, Lett has also appealed his conviction.
Lett’s attorney did not want to comment on this story. Rio Rancho Police also told us they do not comment on pending litigation.