On March 1, 2013 at approximately 2230 hours, San Juan County Sheriff’s deputies were conducting a walk-through of the parking lot for Sunray Park and Casino (Farmington, NM). During the walk-through they observed a male and female seated in a Ford Escape.
Deputies observed the male attempt to hide something from their view as they walked past the vehicle. Deputies made contact with the driver of the vehicle, later identified as Jose Velasquez (age 25 of Farmington, NM). Upon contact with Velasquez, deputies observed indicators that Velasquez was under the influence. Deputies requested Velasquez exit the vehicle.
Rather than exiting the vehicle, Velasquez placed the vehicle into drive and accelerated in an attempt to flee the area. One of the Deputies (Deputy Justin Rieker) tried to prevent Velasquez from fleeing by forcing the vehicle gear shift into park. During the initial incident Deputy Rieker was thrown from the vehicle at which time his hand was run-over and his head struck the pavement.
A pursuit was initiated with the fleeing vehicle. The pursuit continued south on County Road 5510 towards the Reservation line. During the pursuit one of the San Juan County (SJC) Sheriff’s Office vehicles lost control, causing the unit to leave the roadway, and crash into an embankment on County Road 5500. (The Deputy driving that vehicle, Deputy Andrew Gilbert, was not injured in the incident.)
After a lengthy pursuit the suspect vehicle lost control and came to a stop at the intersection of County Road 7125 and County Road 7260. The driver of the vehicle, Velasquez, fled the area on foot. A search of the area was conducted and Velazquez was taken into custody a short distance from the vehicle.
Following the arrest, Deputies conducted an inventory of the vehicle and located two firearms. A criminal history inquiry showed Velasquez to be a felon. Velasquez was booked at the San Juan County Detention Center on the charges listed below. The passenger of the vehicle, Amy Oros (age 22 of Farmington, NM), was also taken into custody and booked at the SJC Detention Center for obstructing deputies while they were attempting to take Velasquez into custody.
Deputy Rieker was treated at San Juan Regional Medical Center for minor injuries and released. The pursuit included deputies from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, the SJC Sheriff’s Office helicopter, Bloomfield Police Department K-9 and Navajo Police Department Crownpoint District Officers.
Velasquez was charged with: Aggravated Battery on a Peace Officer, Aggravated Fleeing a Law Enforcement Officer, Aggravated DWI, Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Negligent use of a deadly weapon.
Oros was charged with: Obstructing, Resisting and Evading.