New Mexico State Police Arrest Violent Absconder in Espanola

For Immediate Release
September 26, 2023


Espanola, NM – On September 25, 2023, a New Mexico State Police officer on patrol on Riverside Drive in Espanola saw a man walking near the Cooks Trailer Park.  Through past encounters, the officer recognized the individual as Robert Angel Martinez, 34, of Espanola.  Martinez was known to have an active probation violation warrant.


The State Police officer made contact with Martinez, who initially was cooperative and engaged in conversation with the officer.  A short time into the encounter, Martinez suddenly took off running through Cooks Trailer Park in an attempt to evade the officer.   The officer gave chase and called for additional State Police units.  When additional officers arrived, they canvased the trailer park and found Martinez trying to hide behind a tree close to a nearby pond.


As officers approached, Martinez ran into the pond and hid in the dense vegetation growing out of the pond water.  Officers surrounded the pond and gave commands for Martinez to come out, which he refused.  The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau and the New Mexico State Police Tactical Team were called to the scene to aid in the peaceful apprehension of Martinez.


The New Mexico State Police Drone Unit assisted with locating Martinez in the vegetation, and the State Police Tactical Team deployed into the pond to make contact with him.  Once the tactical team reached Martinez he surrendered without further incident and was placed under arrest.  He was treated by paramedics on the scene for minor injuries he sustained trying to run from officers.


“Understand, if you are a violent wanted felon in New Mexico, there is no corner of the state you can hide where the New Mexico State Police will not find you”, said Troy Weisler, Chief of the New Mexico State Police.  “My officers are dedicated to keeping all our communities safe by locating violent felons, taking them into custody, and getting them off our streets.”


At the time of his arrest, Martinez was in violation of his conditions of probation for Kidnapping (In the first degree), Aggravated Fleeing a Law Enforcement Officer, False Imprisonment, Resisting Evading, or Obstructing an Officer (2 counts), Possession of a Controlled Substance, Driving While License Revoked, Reckless Driving, Tampering with Evidence, and Improper Display of Registration Plate. For his actions on this date, he was additionally charged with Resisting Evading, or Obstructing an Officer.


Martinez was booked in the Rio Arriba County Detention Center on his probation violation warrant (D-0101-CR-201900768) and his additional charge.  This case was investigated by the New Mexico State Police Uniform Bureau with assistance from the New Mexico State Police Investigations and Special Operations Bureaus.



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