Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sheriff’s Office Has Busy Weekend

By John Larson

SOCORRO - The Socorro County Sheriff’s Department arrested three men for aggravated assault on a peace officer in two separate incidents over the weekend. Deputy Casey Spurgin was involved in both incidents.
In the first incident, two men were arrested in connection with a shooting in Veguita Saturday night in which Spurgin narrowly missed being shot.
Russell E. Werner, 29, of Albuquerque, has been charged with six felonies; use of a deadly weapon against a peace officer, aggravated assault on a peace officer, aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer, shooting from or at a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property, and tampering with evidence. He was also charged with reckless driving, a petty misdemeanor.
Tino Raul Garcia, 19, of Veguita, has been charged with three felonies; harboring or aiding a felon, resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, and tampering with evidence.
In a criminal complaint submitted to Magistrate Court, Socorro Sheriff’s Deputy Casey Spurgin reported that he was assisting New Mexico State Police on a possible stolen vehicle report at about 9:45 p.m. when he heard gunshots coming from a residence on Abo Loop. While en route he was dispatched by radio to an address on Adobe Road, where he was informed by the resident that the shots came from a late model white Ford Bronco.
The officer located several .223 rifle casings in the middle of the road about 100 feet from the residence, and then headed in the direction from which the shots came, but could not locate anyone.
While sitting in the patrol car, Spurgin heard a few more shots and “a whistling noise by my head,” believed to be bullets flying close to his head.
The complaint states that Spurgin then cruised Pinto and Adobe roads looking for any signs of someone with a rifle.
On Wheeler Road he made contact with the Bronco, which fled from the officer. Spurgin then gave chase with lights and siren. While in pursuit of the vehicle, Spurgin noticed “two to three reddish orange flashes coming from the driver’s side of the vehicle, and said the flashes were consistent with a muzzle flash.
Spurgin, along with deputies Chris Pino and William Armijo and a State Police officer, located the vehicle in an arroyo, abandoned.
The officers followed shoe prints from the vehicle to a residence at 27 Adobe Road. A woman at the address said no one was else was in her home, but that the person driving the Bronco was Russell E. Werner. She stated that Werner had been shooting from the residence earlier.
While officers were conducting the interview, her boyfriend, Tino Raul Garcia, arrived at the residence and said he was in the Ford Bronco.
Tino Garcia “informed me that they had both left the Ford Bronco and came to his house where Russell Werner’s mother picked them up and gave them a ride to an Allsup’s in Belen,” the complaint said. Werner then stayed in Belen and was picked up by a friend.
Tino Garcia also said Werner had taken the weapon with him, but while being transported to the Socorro County Detention Center, Garcia admitted to Spurgin that the weapon was “stashed at his house.”
Spurgin then turned around and went back the house, and found that the AR-15 had been hidden in a vent on the roof.
An NCIC check showed that the rifle had been reported stolen in June, 2009.
The next day, Sunday, Apr. 18, Werner turned himself in to State Police.
In the criminal complaint Werner said that he did not remember anything because he had been drinking heavily and used methamphetamines Saturday. “He stated that he ran from police because it was his instinct,” the complaint said.
But “he stated he remembered running from the police on foot from the Ford Bronco,” and that he had been driving that night.
Werner and Garcia were both arraigned Monday, Apr. 19, and their preliminary hearings are scheduled for Wednesday, Apr. 28 in Magistrate Court.

In the second incident, Edwin Anthony Armijo, 46, of Polvadera, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, both third degree felonies; and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.
In a criminal complaint filed with Magistrate Court, Deputy Spurgin stated that he and Deputy Larry Smith were dispatched to Polvadera on the report of a verbal fight. The complainant told the deputy that she was afraid she was going to be stabbed by her neighbor.
Spurgin’s report said that he then went to the residence of Edwin Armijo Sr., where a verbal confrontation took place following Spurgin’s request for him to come outside and talk. Armijo challenged Spurgin “to take that gun off and I will kick your [posterior],” the complaint said. Armijo then retreated back into his house.
Moments later Smith heard dogs barking in the backyard and went to the back of the house while Spurgin called for backup.
The complaint said that when Spurgin was on his way to the back of the house, Armijo “came out of the shadows,” and walked straight towards the officers “in an angry manner.”
When Armijo got to within five to seven feet of Spurgin he thrust a knife at the officer, the complaint said. Spurgin ordered Armijo to drop the knife.
As Spurgin began to draw his gun, Edwina Armijo stepped between the two and was able to take the knife away from Armijo.
After a brief struggle Edwin Armijo Sr. was arrested, placed in handcuffs and taken to the Socorro County Detention Center.
A preliminary hearing will be held for Edwin Armijo on Wednesday, Apr. 28, in Magistrate Court.


  1. Maybe you should look on fb to see Socorro Sheriff Deputy Casey Spurgen sniffing a line of cocaine while at work maybe that is why the sheriff's cant perform right. It is on Jeff L. White page investigate that.

  2. Maybe you should look on fb to see Socorro Sheriff Deputy Casey Spurgen sniffing a line of cocaine while at work maybe that is why the sheriff's cant perform right. It is on Jeff L. White page investigate that.

    1. I second that. Coke deal gone wrong i bet....