EXCLUSIVE: Report suggests Richmond vice mayor under influence after being robbed

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A new report suggests Richmond's vice mayor may have been driving under the influence the night he was robbed outside a candidate forum at a wine loft. (KGO-TV)

There are new questions about Richmond Vice Mayor Eduardo Martinez's robbery outside a candidate forum at a wine loft.

A Richmond Police Department report suggests the vice mayor may have been under the influence of alcohol when he drove a city vehicle from the crime scene to a nearby hotel.

Martinez says he was terrified as he was robbed at gunpoint after emceeing a Chamber of Commerce sponsored candidates' forum at Rigger's Loft Wine Company. "When he got agitated and started waving the gun around me I thought okay this is when he shoots me," said Martinez.

Without a cellphone or wallet, Martinez says he drove a Richmond city car to the closest possible place to call police, The Marina Bay Inn and Suites, approximately 2.2 miles away.

There Richmond Police Department Sgt. Timothy Gard offered Martinez a ride home. Gard also later dropped the city car Martinez had been driving off at a city yard.

In a Richmond Police Department Supplemental Narrative obtained by ABC7 News, that Martinez also shared with ABC7 News, Gard wrote: "As I listened to victim Martinez describe the events of the robbery, I could smell the strong odor of alcohol coming from his person. His slow-paced narrative and mannerisms were indicators he was probably under the influence of alcohol."

Gard later wrote: "For victim Martinez's and the public's safety I did not want him driving home. I transported victim Martinez to his residence."

"I was shocked especially since no one mentioned that to me. In fact I was under the impression I was getting a ride home because I had no identification," said Martinez.

Martinez says he did drink at the event. "I was not incoherent," he explained.

A Richmond Police Department Spokesperson says the investigation focused on the robbery. When the suspect was apprehended, the spokesperson says it was the District Attorney's Office that requested Gard write an additional report regarding Martinez's condition based on notes the detective investigating the robbery made about Martinez's condition.

"The DA's Office asked for the officer to write a supplemental report describing what he actually saw that evening," said Lt. Felix Tan.

Tan says the vice mayor received no special favors. "If you are a victim of a robbery or any type of crime we're going to try to make sure you are as comfortable as possible," said Tan.

City Manager Bill Lindsay says he gave Martinez permission to use a city vehicle because his car was in the shop but pointed out to Martinez that he already receives a monthly stipend to use his own his vehicle.

"He understood that and indicated he would make the city whole," said Lindsay.

A point Martinez clarified when the Police Officers Association President questioned him at a city council meeting the following week. "I offered to have that deducted from my fee," said Martinez during a November 1 city council meeting.

"How do you get to use both because we've had employees in the city who have been disciplined or terminated for the same thing," said Richmond Police Officers Association President Benjamin Therriault.

Martinez says he has not received a stipend to use his personal vehicle for city business and then also used a city vehicle in the past.

Lindsay says he doesn't know if it has happened in the past, but says as a general rule it should not.
Related Topics:
newscrimeviolencerobberyalcoholinvestigationRichmond
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