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Man says tailgater fired pellet gun at his truck

December 2, 2016

George Montoya took some time off work Wednesday afternoon to pick up his daughter from her school bus stop at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on Osage Avenue. When he arrived at the church parking lot, he said, a man who appeared to have been tailgating him in a silver Honda sedan got out of the car and shot at Montoya’s truck.

Thankfully, it was only a pellet gun. “If it was a real gun, who knows what the outcome could have been,” Montoya, 47, said in a phone interview Thursday. “It’s a very disturbing thing.”

He said he’s not sure why the man targeted him, but he thought the shooter may have mistaken him for someone else. “It could have been road rage — I don’t know what it was,” Montoya said. “It all happened so fast. I just thought, ‘Get out of the way.’ ”

According to a police report, Montoya told officers he was driving southbound on Osage Avenue at about 3:50 p.m. when he noticed the Honda with black-tinted windows following closely behind him.

He pulled over to the side of the road to let the Honda pass him, he said, but the driver also pulled over behind him.

“That’s when I thought, ‘Oh, OK, something is going on here,’ ” Montoya said in the interview. “So I decided to speed up to get out of the way when I noticed he was still behind me.”

He drove into the church’s parking lot, and when he looked back, he saw a young man point a black handgun at his truck and then shoot into the rear window, shattering it. Montoya said he also noticed a female passenger in the Honda with pink hair.

After shooting the pellet gun at Montoya, the police report says, the suspect got back into the Honda and fled southbound on Osage Avenue onto St. Michael’s Drive.

On Thursday, Santa Fe police arrested a man and woman they had been seeking on several charges, including robbery, aggravated burglary, aggravated assault and intimidation of a witness. Montoya said they looked similar to the pair he encountered Wednesday. Police identified the pair as Nathaniel Kurtok, 30, and Jennifer Grogg, 21.

After an hourslong search, police found and arrested Kurtok and Grogg at the Country Club Trailer Park on Airport Road.

City police spokesman Greg Gurulé refused to confirm if Kurtok and Grogg were wanted in connection with Montoya’s case, or to provide more details on the charges against the pair.

As for Montoya, he said, “I’m fine. It’s just disturbing. I’m trying to get the window replaced. It’s just an inconvenience, and it’s frustrating right now.”

Contact Uriel J. Garcia at 505-986-3062 or ugarcia@sfnewmexican.com. Follow him on Twitter @ujohnnyg.