LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- A Las Cruces officer was fired Thursday by the city’s police chief just hours after prosecutors dropped, at least temporarily, drunken driving charges against her.
Officer Stephanie Carabajal's termination from the police force followed an internal affairs investigation after her late October arrest by a New Mexico state trooper.
While Dona Ana County District Attorney Mark D'Antonio announced earlier in the day that he was dismissing the driving while intoxicated case against Carabajal, he signaled that it would likely be refiled.
The prosecutor said in a statement that the action of dismissing the DWI charge without prejudice “allows our office more time to collect all evidence necessary for prosecution.”
Carabajal's arrest came after witnesses said they spotted her asleep behind the wheel of her pickup truck, which was stopped at an intersection.
In a police report, it indicates that the state officer woke her up when he arrived at the scene. That report said she was slurring her speech and had the odor of alcohol; she refused a breathalyzer test.
A testy exchange between Carabajal and the state officer was recorded on his patrol car dashcam after her arrest.
In the video, Carabajal tells the state officer: "I've never in my life, even when I had to arrest a cop, treated people the way you treat people."
The state officer responded by telling her: "You shouldn't even be a cop… the way you act, you shouldn't."