A Cortez man pleaded guilty Thursday to assaulting an EMT who was treating him after he passed out in Montezuma Park on New Year’s Eve.
Prosecutors asked that sentencing be left open for Therman J. Tsosie, 41, who has picked up other charges since Dec. 31.
Twenty-second Judicial District Chief Judge Douglas Walker is handling the case. Montezuma County Judge JenniLynn Lawrence recused herself because she knows the victim.
Walker said Tsosie faces a range of sentencing options on the misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault. He could serve two years in jail or probation. Walker ordered a presentence investigation and set a sentencing hearing for March 7.
According to a Cortez police report, an officer saw Tsosie passed out on a bench in the small city park about 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 31. Miranda Ludington, a Southwest Health System EMT, checked Tsosie and determined he should go to the hospital.
When several EMTs attempted to lift Tsosie onto a gurney, he elbowed Ludington, striking her radio, which jammed into her ribs, according to the report. The police officer reported that Ludington continued to treat Tsosie.
After he was medically cleared, an officer initially gave Tsosie a courtesy ride to The Bridge Emergency Shelter for the night and later returned to arrest him on a charge of second-degree assault.
Tsosie bonded out of Montezuma County Detention Center on Jan. 21 and then had two encounters with police on Jan. 26, resulting in new charges.
On the night of Jan. 25, a man at The Bridge reported to police that Tsosie had kneed or kicked him in the face after accusing him of messing with his girlfriend, according to a Cortez police report.
The next morning, police found Tsosie with a group of people in Montezuma Park, according to a police report.
Police issued Tsosie a summons for third-degree assault and harassment just after 11 a.m. on Jan. 26. About six hours later, officers found Tsosie with a group of people in an alley at City Market, where he is trespassed indefinitely.
He also was intoxicated, which violated his bail bond conditions. Police arrested him on a felony hold for trespass and bail violation.
Tsosie appeared in court in custody on Thursday for a hearing on the EMT assault case. Assistant District Attorney Matthew Margeson informed the court that Ludington said she would rather see Tsosie receive help than go to jail.
Walker said victims don’t bind the court to plea agreements. The judge then asked Margeson whether Tsosie has an “extended record.” Margeson said he does.
Tsosie returns to court in late February for his two other pending cases.