Wes Studi, who was arrested last week on a charge of aggravated DWI has apologized for his behavior toward police during the arrest.
“While I cannot comment on the ongoing legal situation, I want to apologize to law enforcement officers for my behavior that evening,” actor Wes Studi said in a statement through a publicist. “Though it wasn’t apparent, I do have the highest respect for law enforcement.”
Studi goes on to say that, despite his behavior, the Santa Fe Police officers were professional. He states he “deeply respects” and appreciates that. “I know I’ve hurt family, friends and supporters and I’m deeply sorry,” he states.
Studi, 66, of Santa Fe, has appeared in such movies as “Avatar,” “The Last of the Mohicans” and “Heat.” At about 1 a.m. Friday morning he was arrested by Santa Fe Police, who found a Volvo he was allegedly driving parked with its lights off in the middle of Old Pecos Trail. Police state Studi was attempting to change two flat tires. Police say Studi admitted to drinking and driving, but he refused to take blood-alcohol or field sobriety tests.
A police video of the incident depicts Studi becoming belligerent with the officers. He shouted curse words at officers and asked why he was being arrested. One officer told him he was being arrested on suspicion of DWI.
“And?” Studi asked. “That’s it?”
He later says: “I was driving drunk, hell yeah, but on the other hand what the (expletive) for?”
Police were called to the scene at 1600 Old Pecos Trail by a security guard, according to police spokeswoman Celina Westervelt. The guard said he saw Studi attempting to fix a tire in the middle of the road.
The Volvo’s left tires were both damaged and not repairable. The guard said Studi asked for a ride home and fell on the ground while speaking to him. Studi was sitting in the security truck when officers arrived.
Westervelt said police assume Studi hit a curb, because both of his left-side tires were ruined.
There was a woman who was a passenger in the Volvo, which had Missouri plates. She said Studi was the driver.
She said they were on the Plaza earlier Thursday night – a picture posted on the Santa Fe Bandstand concert series Facebook page shows him singing with Jay Boy Adams and Zenobia during their set – and then they had a drink at the Palace Restaurant and Saloon.
They were driving to Studi’s home when the Volvo hit an unknown object in the road, which caused the tires to go flat, the woman said.
The woman is not being charged with any offense, Westervelt said, and neither she nor Studi was hurt.
Studi was booked into the Santa Fe County jail later that morning. He was released around 5 p.m. on a $3,000 unsecured bond, according to an online inmate database. Studi has a pre-trial hearing scheduled before Magistrate Court Judge George Anaya Jr. on Sept. 10, according to a court database.
Studi pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge. Studi is being represented by Santa Fe attorney John Day in the case.
“The statement he made is appropriate in the circumstances,” Day said. “And we will be addressing the charges in the appropriate forums.”