A former Manitou Springs police officer has been ordered to stand trial on charges that he strangled his ex-girlfriend and fellow officer after forcing her off the road in Colorado Springs.
Jarrott Paul Martinez, 30, is accused of second-degree assault, intimidating a witness, false imprisonment and violating a restraining order in the June 9 incident which occurred in the parking lot of a Del Taco restaurant at 5430 E. Woodmen Road.
At the time, Martinez was a Manitou Springs officer. However, his lawyer indicated in June that he had left the force.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Martinez’s former girlfriend, Sydney Rose Huffman, 23, had been driving on Duryea Road when she saw a pickup speeding toward her.
Huffman said that when the truck pulled up along side she recognized Martinez as the driver. She said he swerved leading her to believe he would ram her vehicle, so she pulled off onto Woodmen Road.
She said they both parked. Martinez came over to her car and after a brief conversation she agreed to get into the cab of his pickup. Once inside, she said he activated the locks on the doors.
Huffman said Martinez began to blame her for his financial problems and the possibility of him losing his job. He asked her not to testify in a pending misdemeanor case.
To appease him, she agreed not to testify against him. When she tried to get out, Huffman said Martinez grabbed her by the neck with both hands.
“I began to get dizzy and saw black dots,” she later told a Colorado Springs detective. “It felt as though my eyes were going to pop out of my head. I thought this was it. He would finally kill me and get away with it.”
Huffman said she briefly blacked out. When she came to, she said Martinez began to cry, apologized for what he had done and leaned over to kiss her. She kicked him, got out of the truck and fled.
The detective who later took Huffman’s report at Memorial Hospital said he saw bruise marks on her neck. She was coughing and had difficulty swallowing and turning her head, he said.
Police said Martinez had a history of violence toward Huffman and other family members, including three previous strangulation incidents. Huffman said there were also unreported incidents in which Martinez held firearms to her head and to her father’s head.
She also told police that Martinez had previously threatened to kill both of them and added “that if she ever called police he would kill her before the police would arrive.”
Following a preliminary hearing Tuesday, 4th Judicial District Judge David L. Shakes found there was enough evidence for Martinez to be tried. The judge set a Jan. 11 trial date.
For more court coverage, visit “The Sidebar” blog at gazette.com