Santa Fe police on Monday released the arrest video of a former state Senate hopeful they say was drunk just minutes after she was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run accident.
Nicole Castellano, who placed third in the June 5 Democratic primary race for the state Senate District 39 seat, was arrested at about 5 p.m. Friday in the Santa Fe Place mall parking lot, 4250 Cerrillos Road.
According to Sgt. Andrea Dobyns, Castellano was involved in a collision in the Camino Entrada area just off Cerrillos Road. Dobyns said the other driver was not injured.
A witness followed Castellano, who was driving a large white SUV, to the mall parking lot a block away and called police. Castellano was booked into the Santa Fe County jail on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated, resisting and obstructing an officer, accident involving damage to a vehicle and duty to give information. She was also cited for driving without insurance as she was unable to provide police with mandatory proof of financial responsibility.
The video released by police shows a stubborn Castellano, 42, who initially refuses to get out of her vehicle. The audible sequence that follows is between Castellano and Sgt. Mario Salvidrez.
Castellano: "I understand you want to put me before the camera. And then I understand you want to put me before a camera that has political explications [sic]."
Sgt. Salvidrez: "I'm not interested in your political ... "
Castellano: "Yes. And that's all right."
Sgt. Salvidrez: "Mrs. Castellano, you're drunk. That's what I'm interested in. You're drunk. You got involved in a crash. You didn't stay at the crash. You came over here. You made no effort to call [inaudible]."
Castellano: "I called the lady and asked her to please come over to, uh, the situation. ... I asked her to please come to a situation that was close and that was not in a position of Cerrillos and the location of [inaudible]."
Sgt. Dobyns said officers believed she was intoxicated after they observed Castellano's slurred speech and could smell alcohol on her. She was also seen on the video doing field sobriety tests. Castellano refused to submit to any chemical test.
Castellano was booked into the Santa Fe County jail on Friday night and was released at about 2 a.m. Saturday. Her bond was set at $8,500 cash or surety.
She did not return messages left by The New Mexican Monday.
Contact Nico Roesler at 986-3089 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @nicoroesler.
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