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.

(14) comments

William Mee

Agua Fria Street's capacity is 10,000 vehicles Average Daily Traffic (ADT). It is currently at about 13,000 at Siler Road before the Siler Road Bridge went in it was 18,000. Agua Fria Street is classified as a "Major Arterial" street, under the Department of Transportation’s Functional Classification system. The capacity of a Major Arterial is 10,000 ADT. However Agua Fria (El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro---the Nation's oldest highway), has too many private driveways entering it to be safe for traffic (testimony of John Romero and Isaac Pino, former City Traffic Engineers). I would say about one per 150 feet. The standard would be over 500 feet.

Hilario Romero's son, when we were doing the West Santa Fe River Alliance was going to fly a drone over 8am and 5pm traffic and make a short movie for the City Council. I was asking that video be shot of an accident on one of the major streets and then how the traffic shifts to other streets and sometimes accidents happen there and within an hour the whole city is shut down. This road rage was a result....

Khal Spencer

Jonah Goldberg wrote his weekly essay today, this one about the origin of "rules". This paragraph seems on point for this incident:

"Any sociologist worth a dime will tell you that manners and customs developed at least in part as a way to minimize violence. Your grandmother didn’t lecture you about good manners because she was afraid you might get killed by some Hun or Mayan, but that doesn’t mean the rules of good manners aren’t important."

https://gfile.thedispatch.com/p/rules-matter-for-everyone

When rules are replaced by "my testosterone level is higher than yours", we get these incidents.

Khal Spencer

My Hyland, I took your original comment as quite good sarcasm. Wish you would repost it.

Tom Hyland

I'll try posting it again and so glad you didn't take offense. Too bad the censor button is the handiest item in the tool kit at this newspaper. What I wrote was a further examination of your phrase "life in these parts" and I wrote, "the locals in these parts might say I 'barely' ran over him three times." Khal, I've lived here since 1966 and in the ensuing 55 years I've heard the phrase "barely" attached to every "absolute" you can imagine. One would have to be severely oblivious to have not taken notice.

Khal Spencer

Indeed, Tom, I was "barely aware" of that usage in these parts....

Tom Hyland

I am endlessly amused by so many "barelys." You can make up your own just for fun... "I barely got her pregnant"... "The violent protestors barely toppled the Plaza obelisk." All joking aside, two daddys have left their families forever. More kids will grow up never knowing their dads. Absolutely tragic. No one in these cars screamed, "Stop, don't go there!" and this is what happened.

Khal Spencer

I got into it with a motorist one day. I was riding my bicycle to work to the left of the bike lane as someone had smashed glass in it; looked like a whiskey bottle. Motorist came up behind me and laid on the horn, even though there were two travel lanes, one for each of us.

Then he beeped again and he signaled me to get out of his way and I finally gave him the Single Digit Salute.

So then he deliberately rams me from the side so I am off the bike and he gets out of the car saying "now I'm gonna kick your a**". I put him in a bear hug and told him to cool off and his wife was utterly freaked out. The old "Now George, look what you got us into ". We stayed that way till the cop got there and then explained everything.

Cop was a rookie and of minimal help but I opened the conversation by saying "listen sir, I got exasperated with you for all the horns and lights but what you probably can't see is that some knucklehead broke a whiskey bottle in the bike lane and that it is impassible for a bicycle. That said, I apologize for flipping you off.". He then apologized for sideswiping me and making threats. No damage, no punches thrown, and we shook hands. We both told Law Enforcement that we were OK with each other. No charges filed. That was a teaching moment rather than an arrest moment.

Thing is, someone has to de-escalate once the S was hitting the F, not immediately go to 11 on the 1-10 scale.

Charlotte Rowe

Sounds like testosterone overload. His sentence should include castration.

Tom Hyland

Being accusations of "racism" are proliferating in this comments section would your comment be defined as sexist? Let's return through the day and see the witch hunt develop.

Al Chavez

Maybe New Mexico should start adding lithium to our water. Folks need something to "calm the savage breast."

Moses Townsend

Probably mental illness and/or anger problems. Women can have said issues just as much as men. Nice pseudo-feminist quip, though, I guess...

Valerie Kennedy

Women overwhelmingly don’t murder people, particularly in fits of ego-fueled rage. We just don’t. You can get mad about facts but it doesn’t change the facts.

Khal Spencer

Murder over a U-Turn? Life is awfully cheap in these parts and self-control seems to be a lost value.

Tammy Tapia

This is happening everywhere! There is no respect for lives any longer. It is very upsetting.

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