Woman arrested after protesting at utility office

Brett Berntsen
Cimarron Archuleta

FARIMNGTON — A 34-year-old Bloomfield woman was arrested this morning on suspicion of trespassing at the Farmington Electric Utility System office while protesting an issue with the power company.

Cimarron Archuleta was objecting to the utility’s refusal to provide electricity to her home due to a code violation, according to her mother Emily Archuleta.

Farmington police spokeswoman Georgette Allen said officers were dispatched at 10:15 a.m. to the utility office at 101 Browning Parkway and initially asked Archuleta to leave the building’s lobby and continue her protest on the sidewalk.

When Archuleta refused, Allen said officers began to handcuff her. At that point, Archuleta’s 16-year-old son entered the building and allegedly assaulted the arresting officer, Allen said. Police then arrested the teenager on suspicion of battering an officer, Allen said.

Archuleta and her five children had been living without power for seven days after a tree branch fell on the power line outside their home in Bloomfield, according to her mother.

Susan Nipper-Greaves, the business operations manager for the Farmington Electric Utility System, said inspectors determined it would be unsafe to restore power to the house because the utility pole on Archuleta’s property was not up to code.

Nipper-Greaves said it was Archuleta’s responsibility to hire an electrician to fix the problem.

Archuleta’s mother said the pole appeared undamaged and had been working fine for nine years. She said friends of the family cut down the tree that fell on the pole in the first place.

"We did everything they told us to do," Emily Archuleta said.

Archuleta said her daughter was at her "wit's end" during the power outage and was forced to shower at truck stops and miss work.

While her daughter has been released from jail on bond, Archuleta said this afternoon that her grandson remained in custody. She said he has never been in trouble before.

"He’s pretty scared," she said.

Brett Berntsen covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606.