A police officer in Santa Fe, New Mexico, pulled a weapon on a revered American Indian painter who was just cleaning up dog poop in his SUV.
Mateo Romero, of the Pueblo nation, was placed in handcuffs and loaded into the back of a police car after a serious misunderstanding regarding his Shih Tzu.
Romero was on his way to his studio when he suddenly parked in a private driveway after he noticed his dog, Han Solo, had relieved himself in his vehicle, The Associated Press reported.
According to the police report, obtained by The Associated Press, homeowner Maria Markus called police to report a burglary in progress at her home in Santa Fe.
Romero said Markus then boxed in his SUV with her own vehicle and called 911. Romero attempted to explain the situation with Markus, but she ignored him.
“I tried to talk to her to explain that I was cleaning up dog poop,” he said. “But she got all hysterical and I just backed away. I couldn’t leave. It was crazy.”
The responding officer pulled a rifle on Romero and detained him. After a search, which concluded with police not finding any of Markus’ property in his possession, Romero was released.
“It appeared to be a misunderstanding,” the police report said, which also noted that Romero was “understanding and polite” to police following the incident.
Romero has a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from the University of New Mexico and is an award-winning artist who has exhibited internationally in Canada and in the United States, according to his website.