As reported by KOB-TV, Gary Smith, a former army sergeant who ran in the Republican primaries to represent New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, was arrested by Albuquerque police on Friday evening on charges of criminal damage when he allegedly slashed the tires of primary opponent and former New Mexico Gubernatorial candidate, Janice Arnold-Jones. The video footage was taken by Arnold-Jones’ own surveillance after several incidents of vandalism (see video below).
KOB Eyewitness News 4 reporter Chris Ramirez questioned Smith at the time of the arrest as he was being placed in the police vehicle:
Ramirez: Did you slash those tires?
Smith: I don’t even know what’s going on right now. They haven’t explained anything to me yet. I don’t even know why they came to my house.
Ramirez: Well according to the arrest warrant, you’re being arrested because you were slashing Janice Arnold-Jones’ tires. Did you do it?
Smith: No. No, not at all.
Ramirez: What if we told you there’s video of you doing that? Would you still say that you’re not the person?
Four other people who worked on Arnold-Jones’ campaign were also victims of tire-slashing, and Smith will be investigated for those crimes as well.
Arnold-Jones ran unopposed in the June 2012 New Mexico Republican primaries after a state district judge removed Smith from the ballot when it was discovered he had turned in invalid voter petitions. Arnold-Jones eventually lost to Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham in the general election.
Back in April, Smith spoke of his fellow Republicans to KOB News 4:
“When you go to your own kind, your own brother, your own sister, and they stab you in the back repeatedly – repeatedly – repeatedly – they tried to keep me out of this process and today they succeeded.”
Smith is facing a fourth-degree felony charge, and the Judge set his bond at $5,000.
Tire slashing mixed with politics is nothing new, and there’s a long history of the two mixing it up a bit on both sides of the aisle. Even the righteous Mike Huckabee joked that letting the air out of an opposing voter’s tires is perfectly acceptable (from Think Progress)
View the surveillance video: