Richmond police: Vice mayor may have driven while under the influence on night of robbery

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Richmond Vice Mayor Eduardo Martinez may have been driving while under the influence of alcohol the night he was robbed outside of a candidates forum at Riggers Loft Wine Company in the Port of Richmond, according to an ABC7 News exclusive report.

After Martinez was robbed at gunpoint about 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, he lacked a phone and wallet and so he reportedly drove 2.2 miles to the The Marina Bay Inn and Suites to call police, according to the news report. At the time, he was reportedly driving a city-issued vehicle that he was borrowing while his car was in the shop.

Officers responded to the scene and interviewed Martinez. At one point Richmond police Sgt. Timothy Gard offered the councilman a ride home.

“As I listened to victim Martinez describe the events of the robbery, I could smell the strong odor of alcohol coming from his person,” Gard later wrote in a supplemental police report. “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.”

Martinez says he did drink at the event but denied he was incoherent and said officers never mentioned to him that they suspected he was intoxicated.

Police said they were more focused on making certain Martinez was comfortable after the gunpoint robbery than investigating whether he was drunk, according to ABC7.

“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,” Lt. Felix Tan said.

Martinez recounted a terrifying experience where he thought he might be shot.

“When [the robber] got agitated and started waving the gun around me I thought okay this is when he shoots me,” Martinez told ABC7.

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