Cal Poly professor charged with battering an officer, drunk driving

March 6, 2024

Shanae Aurora Martinez


Officers arrested a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo professor twice in less than a month, once for allegedly battering an officer and several weeks later for drunk driving.

During a pro-Palestinian protest at Cal Poly on Jan. 23, in which eight other people were arrested, officers nabbed Shanae Aurora Martínez, 38, on a misdemeanor charge of battery of a peace officer. She is scheduled for arraignment on March 20.

Three weeks later during the early morning hours of Feb. 14, a CHP officer arrested Martínez for driving under the influence. The officer booked her into the San Luis Obispo County jail at 3:23 a.m. Prosecutors filed DUI charges against the professor on March 4.

Martínez is an assistant professor of English specializing in Indigenous literatures.

Aware of a planned pro-Palestinian protest, Cal Poly officers were dispatched to a career fair being held at the Recreation Center on Jan. 23. After a small group of protestors dressed in all black and wearing masks, attempted to push though barricades, Cal Poly officers called SLO police to provide backup.

Even though most of the 30 to 40 protestors were peaceful, the small group repeatedly attempted to push though the barricades and into the job fair, which Cal Poly said was not open to the public.

While several officers scuffled with protestors, one protestor allegedly grabbed an officer’s gun. An officer appears to strike the protestor three times. Another officer then walked over and grabbed the firearm from under the protestor, according to a video taken from a rooftop.

SLO County prosecutors filed charges of battery against Martinez and eight protesters on March 4.

The eight other people face misdemeanor charges of battery of a peace officer, including Daron Birkholz, 23; Raleigh Delk, 26; Marcus Hicks, 26; Alejandro Bupara, 29; Sarah Heath, 30;  Elyzajaenine Santos, 23; Timothy Jouet, 56, and 20-year-old Mollie Lamkin – who goes by “Ollie.”

Lamkin is also facing a misdemeanor charge of resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer.

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She is not DR. Martinez but MS Martinez, meaning she has at most a Master’s Degree in English. This can be obtained with four years of undergraduate work and then classes in graduate school or classes and a thesis. Most doctoral programs require a thesis as a demonstration of writing and research skills. In other words, she spent probably five – six years in college and really should be, at most, teaching at a community college level with those credentials, not at a prestigious state university. Or working in the private sector – as if there is a lot of demand for her specialty!

Has she been fired yet??

Whoops, there goes her moral high ground!

If a student at Cal Poly had committed these crimes, would he/she be suspended?