Wednesday, November 24, 2010
SOCORRO – A Las Cruces man was arrested following a pursuit by Socorro Sheriff’s Deputy Casey Spurgin on back roads in the San Acacia and Escondida area early morning on Saturday, Nov. 13.
Jimmie Daniel Perez, 29, of Las Cruces, was arraigned Monday in magistrate court on five felony counts and four misdemeanors, including child abuse, aggravated assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, aggravated fleeing, resisting arrest, and DWI.
Perez was also charged with aggravated battery on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, after attempting to injure Spurgin with an automobile, according to the complaint.
According to the complaint, Spurgin received a radio call at 12:30 a.m. from Deputy Zack Holcomb requesting assistance for a possible DWI.
Holcomb informed Spurgin that he stopped Perez for speeding on Interstate 25, and noticed an odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from the car, and that there was a minor unbuckled in the backseat. Spurgin radioed Holcomb that he was 30 miles west on Highway 380 and that he should contact Socorro Police for backup.After turning his driver’s license and registration over to Holcomb, Perez “floored it,” heading north on Interstate 25, said Spurgin. Due to the presence of a minor, later confirmed to be a six-year-old boy, in the car Holcomb was advised to break off the pursuit, which reached speeds of about 90 miles per hour.
Spurgin then began a search, and shortly afterward located the Nissan Altima which Perez had been driving on the San Acacia exit overpass.
“While I was following the vehicle, I noticed that (it) was unable to maintain lane and was also braking frequently and needlessly,” Spurgin said. “At this time the vehicle came to a complete stop at a three way intersection…and turned off all its lights.”
The officer activated his emergency lights and then pulled up beside the Perez car “so that the nose of my unit was angled towards the driver’s side door.”
Spurgin then ran to the front of Perez’s car with his weapon at the “low ready,” and ordered Perez to show both his hands out the window, the complaint said.
“He complied but then pulled both hands in and put the vehicle in gear,” Spurgin said. “I heard the motor rev and the back wheels start to spin, and noticed that the vehicle was coming straight at me.”
Spurgin said he stepped back just time to avoid being run over, however he sustained a gash in the middle of his right shin.
Spurgin was able to catch up with the fleeing Perez, pursuing the Nissan at speeds of about 45 miles per hour on ditch bank roads north of Escondida.
“I closed the distance between myself and the vehicle, and at a hard right turn was able to pin the vehicle with my unit against a guardrail,” Spurgin said.
Perez continued to spin his tires until his vehicle broke loose, Spurgin said.
He then radioed Socorro police to set up a roadblock in the Escondida Lake area.
“While traveling southbound, I realized that at the speed he was traveling he would not make an upcoming hairpin turn,” said Spurgin. “I then slowed down and turned off my emergency lights giving the vehicle distance, hoping the driver would slow down and make the turn.”
As he came up to the turn, Spurgin said he noticed skid marks and knew Perez had not made the turn and had rolled into the large ditch. After contacting dispatch of the accident and calling for an ambulance, Spurgin said he ran to the upturned car in the ditch and heard the child and the driver screaming for help.
Spurgin then jumped onto the car and was able to break the passenger’s side window.
“I pulled the boy from the backseat through the passenger’s side window, and then carried the wet and severely shaking child up the embankment and placed him in the back seat of my patrol car,” Spurgin said. “And turned up the heater.”
Returning to the vehicle, he asked the driver if he was OK, “and he said yes,” he said.
Spurgin said the driver refused to exit from the vehicle after multiple requests, and attempted to conceal himself.
When an ambulance arrived, Spurgin returned to his patrol unit and told the EMS personnel that Perez was still in the car. Socorro police officer Luis Chavez and Holcomb checked the upturned vehicle and reported that they could see no one in the car.
“I then entered the ditch water and noticed two footprints on a sandbar heading north,” Spurgin said. About 60 feet away he noticed two feet on an embankment behind a bush and ordered Perez to come out of the shrubbery.
“He did not comply after being ordered two more times.”
“When I moved towards the individual, he came at me with his hands clinched into fists,” Spurgin said. “I deployed my pepper spray with a one to two second burst and he stopped, but when I attempted to grab him by the arm he came at me again.”
With assistance from Chavez, Holcomb restrained and handcuffed Perez. Afterward they went to check on the minor.
“The boy was wet and shaking but was very talkative,” Spurgin said. “When I asked him if there were any weapons in the car, he said, ‘not this time’.”
Perez was transported to Socorro General Hospital for medical clearance, and then later booked into Socorro County Detention Center.
Photos by John Larson
Posted by Mountain Mail newspaper at 12:47 PM