A city-employed security guard in Albuquerque has been exposed as a violent, out-of-control thief with a long history of disciplinary problems who is protected by the city’s police force.
Andy Fitzgerald is a transit security officer working out of Albuquerque’s main bus, a man who not only doesn’t like being referred to as “just a security guard,” but doesn’t appreciate citizens video recording his violent antics. He also has a history of shoplifting, but that only earned him a warning from city officials last year advising him to “act more professionally both on and off duty,” according to Police Complaints, an Albuquerque police watchdog site, who broke this story last month.
In August, Fitzgerald choked a man who began video recording him arresting on another man, telling the man with the smartphone, “I’m about to unleash on you. Do not fucking move.”
The man with the smartphone had irked Fitzgerald by telling the man he was arrested, who was accused of drunkenness, that Fitzgerald is not a cop, but just a security guard.
“I’m not a security guard, sir,” Fitzgerald responded.
“No, then what are you?” the citizen responded.
“Why are you filming me? Who are you?” Fitzgerald responds before pouncing on him.
The video then shows them struggling with Fizgerald ordering him to “get on the fucking ground.”
It is mind-boggling that Fitzgerald even has the authority to lay his hands on citizens, especially considering one the disciplinary actions against him from last year was for detaining a citizen for an “excessive period of time.”
But Fitzgerald has obviously learned he can get away with anything.
The man with the camera called police but that almost got him arrested when the two Albuquerque police officers who responded to the scene refused to take statements from witnesses.
Officer Daniel Galvan went as far as yelling at a witness to “shut up,” ordering him to leave the area when he tried to approach the officer to give his version of the altercation.
Galvan then turned to the man with the smart phone and threatened to arrest him if he did not sign an “order not to return.” And this after Galvan had already arrested another witness for refusing to sign the same document, according to Police Complaints.
Let’s not forget this is a tax-funded bus terminal.
A city bus driver then came forward and told Galvan that Fitzgerald had been acting in self-defense after the man with the smart phone attacked him. But the video proves otherwise.
Last week, KOAT-TV reported that Fitzgerald was involved in another altercation that was caught on camera by a citizen, this one taking place last month.
So that makes about eight fireable offenses since last year, give or take a few, I’ve lost count. So what does the city of Albuquerque have to say about this?
According to KOAT-TV, they’re “deciding if he should be fired.”
I’m thinking they should all be sued.