ALBUQUERQUE – A new lawsuit says a Bernalillo Country Sheriff’s deputy used excessive force on a motorist during a traffic stop last year.
A lawsuit filed in state district court last month alleged that Deputy Jeffrey Bartram punched and elbowed a confused Adrian Avitia in Albuquerque in January 2019.
According to court documents, Bartram demanded that Avitia let him check his eyes and got mad when Avitia declined. Documents say Bartram told Avitia to get out of his car and then attacked Avitia for allegedly not following his commands.
Court documents say Avitia suffered a concussion from the attack.
Avitia later was charged and convicted of drunken driving from that traffic stop.
He is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment.
Avitia’s attorney says records show Bartram had a history of using aggressive tactics on darker-skinned subjects during encounters.
Bernalillo County told KRQE-TV that Bartram is still employed with the department.