Sierra County Sheriff’s Deputy Taylor was patrolling Hwy. 179 when he spotted a green Jeep Cherokee matching the description of one reported stolen out of Moriarty. As it passed him, the officer noticed that the vehicle had neither running lights nor a license plate light.
Deputy Taylor initiated his emergency equipment to perform a traffic stop, but the Jeep failed to pull over. Evidently trying to escape law enforcement, the fleeing party raced right through a stop sign, then drove the wrong way in the opposite lane at length, occasionally swerving. The vehicle turned into the Truth or Consequences Municipal Airport, driving through a chain link fence and, at a high rate of speed, ramped about five feet in the air, the police report states.
The deputy continued to give chase as the suspects drove north on Hwy. 181, again driving in the wrong lane, off the pavement, through brush and a barbed wire fence into the desert. Soon the vehicle was forced to stop due to the flat tire and severe damage.
The three occupants fled the vehicle on foot. Approximately two hours later, Dominic Armijo was apprehended by Sgt. Apodaca, and with the help of Border Patrol agents, soon after located the other two – Devin Watkins and a minor.
Armijo allegedly admitted to stealing the Jeep from a private residence and also participating in two other pursuits, in Albuquerque and Los Lunas, escaping both times. Several uncapped syringes were found in Watkins’ purse, and the 15-year-old boy possessing drug paraphernalia as well. Armijo’s dog was taken by animal control and the man was arrested, charged with abuse of a child, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, aggravated fleeing and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.
Devin Watkins was charged with resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, and was consequentially arrested.