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Coach faces DWI charge

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By David Giuliani

Peter Ortiz, Luna Community College’s baseball coach, was arrested last weekend on a charge of drunken driving. An officer’s report indicated that the coach appeared “obviously heavily intoxicated.”

Peter Ortiz, 44, 409 Tecolote St., who is also the city’s parks supervisor, is charged with aggravated driving under the influence and reckless driving. He was arrested by city police Cpl. Robert Gutierrez.

Lawrence Quintana, Luna’s human resources director, said he hadn’t been told about the part-time coach’s DWI and that he would look into it.

Interim City Manager Elmer Martinez said he would address the matter in accordance with personnel policies but wouldn’t say whether Ortiz was on leave.

He acknowledged that Ortiz has access to a city vehicle during the work day but not after hours.

According to the police report, Gutierrez saw Ortiz shortly before midnight Saturday staggering toward his white pickup truck in the back parking lot of Dick’s bar. Gutierrez stated that Ortiz exited the parking lot by driving over the curb, completely missing the driveway. He nearly struck a parked car with two occupants, the report states.

Gutierrez states that he turned his emergency lights on and followed Ortiz south on Seventh Street and south on Grand Avenue. It wasn’t until Ortiz turned right on Tilden Avenue that he stopped, according to the report.

Gutierrez, who recognized Ortiz, reported that the driver had slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and a heavy odor of alcohol.

The officer stated in his report that he took Ortiz to Alta Vista Regional Hospital to have the driver’s blood drawn.

But Ortiz allegedly refused. “No one’s sticking a (expletive) needle in me. I’m not taking your (expletive) test,” he said, according to the report.

No one answered Ortiz’s city-issued cell phone Wednesday afternoon.

Mayor Tony Marquez said he has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drunken driving.

“The city of Las Vegas lost one big family to DWI. We need to do more to address DWI,” he said. “If someone is convicted of DWI in my administration, I would expect an immediate resignation letter.”