Police: U-turn results in deadly road rage on Rufina Street

·2 min read

Sep. 15—A man killed in what police are describing as a road-rage attack Friday evening near the intersection of Rufina Street and Richards Avenue has been identified as 32-year-old Joaquin Martin of Santa Fe.

Eleazar Flores-Torres, 47, was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery, child abuse and two other felony counts after he was accused of running over Martin three times amid an argument over a U-turn, according to a statement of probable cause filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court.

Flores-Torres' wife told Santa Fe police the couple and their 1-year-old child were driving west on Rufina Street in a Jeep Cherokee around 5 p.m. when they encountered traffic and her husband decided to turn around.

As he attempted a U-turn, he cut off a blue Nissan Rogue and a tan Cadillac SUV, the statement said.

The Nissan driver told police the driver of the Cadillac, later identified as Martin, drove around him and began to argue with Flores-Torres. The argument escalated as Flores-Torres struck Martin's Cadillac and Martin got out of the SUV.

Flores-Torres then hit Martin with his Jeep, according to the statement of probable cause. Martin grabbed the hood of the Jeep but fell when Flores-Torres attempted another U-turn. Flores-Torres ran over Martin, a witness told police, and then backed up, ran him over again and pulled forward, hitting Martin a third time. Flores-Torres then fled in the Jeep.

Martin was taken to a local hospital but died from his injuries later Friday.

Another witness told officers she heard a young boy crying in Martin's Cadillac. When she went to check on the boy, he told her his father had been hit by the Jeep, the statement said.

Investigators apprehended Flores-Torres for questioning after using a photo of the Jeep's license plate to find the family's address. He told police in Spanish he had been trying to make a U-turn but should have chosen a better spot because he cut off two vehicles, according to the statement.

A man got out of his car and stood in front of him, Flores-Torres said, adding he tried to drive around the man multiple times. He finally turned around by driving on a sidewalk, and when he drove away, Martin was still standing, he told police.

Officers arrested Flores-Torres and booked him into the Santa Fe County jail early Saturday morning. He is being held without bond, according to jail records.

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