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SANTA FE, N.M. (Tribune News Service) — Gilbert Romero, an Army veteran and commander of the downtown Santa Fe Veterans of Foreign Wars post, faces a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after he was accused of smashing a wine bottle on a man's neck as a dispute during a pool game escalated.

The man Romero is accused of striking with the bottle suffered a gash on his neck that sent him to the hospital, according to Santa Fe police.

The fight broke out sometime before 11 p.m. Monday at the VFW Post 2951 Auxiliary, police wrote in a statement of probable cause filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court.

Officers arrived at the post and found the injured and bleeding man lying on the ground outside, the charging document says. He was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center for treatment and was released Tuesday.

The victim told police he and Romero had been playing pool when he suddenly was struck with the glass bottle.

According to Romero's account, the man had been disrespectful to him and other patrons at the post throughout the night, the statement says.

Staff at the post did not offer police video surveillance footage of the incident because they did not have authorization to access it, officers wrote in the statement.

Romero was arrested on the third-degree felony count and booked into the Santa Fe County jail Tuesday but was released later that day on $2,500 bail.

He could not be reached for comment Tuesday on the incident.

The U.S. Army veteran and Bronze Star recipient has served as the VFW post's commander since 2017.

He also has served as president of the Caballeros de Vargas, a religious fraternal organization.

He resigned in July from the Caballeros board amid infighting.

In 2020, Romero was recognized for his efforts to rehabilitate the VFW post, and for his dedication to local veterans and Hispanic culture, when he was named one of The Santa Fe New Mexican's 10 Who Made a Difference.

(c)2022 The Santa Fe New Mexican (Santa Fe, N.M.)

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