Video footage released by the police department shows Vernier with the man in a choke hold as the victim’s wife records the incident.
Los Lunas police arrested Charles Vernier May 1 on aggravated battery and interference with police charges, which are both misdemeanors, Lt. Vince Torres said. The charges were filed in Los Lunas Municipal Court.
The incident happened at about 3 p.m. at the Casa de Chavez apartments in Los Lunas. Police arrived while Vernier was still choking the man and police arrested the officer. The responding officer pulled a Taser on Vernier before he let go of the man, according to the criminal complaint.
“I appreciate everything that the department has attempted to do on my behalf. I also appreciate the opportunity to serve the citizens of the State of New Mexico,” Vernier wrote in the letter. “However, given my current state, I believe that it is in the best interests of everyone that I resign from the department and concentrate on restoring my mental health to a functional state.”
The letter was addressed to New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas and other high-ranking officers. The letter was sent May 12 and took effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Kassetas said in a previous statement that an “internal inquiry” was launched after Vernier’s arrest.
Vernier was with New Mexico State Police for about two years, KOAT-TV reported.
Vernier is scheduled to be arraigned on the two charges on June 2, according to court records.