Ref: San Juan County Detectives Arrest Man on Three Felony Counts, Including Impersonating a Peace Officer – Would Like Public To Take Note
San Juan County, NM – On 10/09/2011 at approximately 1944 hours San Juan County Deputies were dispatched to the Shell gas station located on the Bisti Highway near Farmington, NM. in reference to a possible armed subject. Upon arriving they made contact with a female victim.
The victim was from San Angelo, Texas and was driving from Salt Lake City. “While she was driving toward Farmington on US 64, a vehicle pulled up behind her and began to flash its headlights and over the cab spotlights,” explained San Juan County Detectives Sergeant Dave Hamlin. “The victim believed she was being pulled over by a police officer and proceeded to pull over near the 46 mile marker on US 64. The male then approached her vehicle and stated he was a Police Officer and wanted to make sure that she had not been drinking.”
The male then proceeded to ask her for identification and other paperwork. “She stated that he sounded like a police officer,” said Detective Kenneth Weisheit. “She was then asked to exit her vehicle in order to submit to a sobriety test. She had not been drinking and was not concerned about passing a test so she complied with his request and exited the vehicle.”
Once the female had exited the vehicle the “officer” asked if she had any weapons on her. Upon hearing that she did not he informed her that he needed to check and proceeded to search her.
It was at this point that the male pulled a mask down over his face. “The female informed him that she had already seen his face and reached up to grab the mask,” explained Weisheit. “The male suspect then pulled the mask back down, took out a knife and held it against her throat.”
The male suspect then attempted to rape the female. “The female victim kept her composure throughout the entire incident,” said Hamlin. “At one point she even asked the suspect if she could take his photograph and did so. The photographs were one of the ways we were able to identify him so quickly.”
The male suspect let the female victim return to her car and he returned to his vehicle and left the scene. He was later identified as Eric Kenneth (age 29) of Shiprock, NM. Kenneth was later arrested and charged with the following:
- Kidnapping in the Second Degree- A Second Degree Felony
- Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon-A Third Degree Felony
- Criminal Sexual Contact in the Fourth Degree- A Fourth Degree Felony
- Impersonating a Peace Officer- A Misdemeanor
The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office would like the public to know that all local law enforcement officers utilize flashing red and blue lights on their vehicles and the state police use red lights. Non emergency vehicles such as electric and other utility companies use amber lights. “This suspect used a spotlight and his emergency lights to get the victim to pull over”, explained Hamlin. “If you are being pulled over you should be aware of the colors of the lights behind you, and when in doubt you can always use your cell phone to call dispatch to verify that it is actually a law enforcement officer behind you.”
The San Juan Sheriff’s Office would also like the public to report any other similar crimes if they have occurred in San Juan County. If you need to report such an incident please call 505-334-6107 and ask for the Detective Division.