A warrant has been filed against the man suspected of threatening a driver during a traffic incident near the Gonzales Community School.
Santa Fe’s Justin Isaac Barela was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a felon, and a series of traffic quotes after another driver accused Barela of putting him on the street before threatening him with a gun, according to one Criminal complaint filed in Santa Fe District Court.
Santa Fe police responded to a call from a driver at around 2:45 p.m. who said he had been run into on Placita de Oro. The caller told officials that a man who drove a gold Toyota Corolla, later identified as Barela, drove against him, according to the complaint.
The caller said the Toyota suffered significant front end damage, including a flat front tire and smoke from the vehicle. They pulled into the Gonzales Community School parking lot before Barela began to flee across the street on foot, the ad said.
When the caller tried to film and track Barela, he said Barela pulled a black pistol from his pocket and threatened to shoot him. That prompted the caller to duck to the ground immediately, while Barela fled, according to the complaint.
Police were able to identify 38-year-old Barela as a suspected driver of the Toyota after the caller said he walked to Barela’s vehicle and noticed a cell phone ringing. When he replied, a person on the other line said he was looking for a “Justin Barela” according to the ad.
Police later showed the driver a list of photographs, and the driver identified Barela in the photos as the man who threatened to shoot him.
Barela has a criminal history dating back to 2004, when he was convicted of trafficking in a controlled substance. He has at least five other active arrest warrants for no-show and non-payment of fines in previous cases, court records show.