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Monday, Mar 25th

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Police Activity Report

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A lot of fire

4/10, Gamma Street

A McKinley County Sheriff’s deputy  stepped in and put out several brush fires discovered near the Cedar Ridge Trailer Park.

Dep. Salina Brown said she was on patrol around 5 pm when she came across a man and woman near the trailer park pouring bottles of water on a brush fire. They told Brown they had just driven up and saw the fire, which they thought may have been caused by someone throwing a cigarette out of their car window.

Brown said she reported the incident to Metro Dispatch as she pulled out her fire extinguisher from the back of her unit and started using it on the fire. As the man and woman left the scene, they pointed out another brush fire about 150 yards west of the first site.

Brown said that she went to that site and put out that fire. When that was done, she said a woman approached her and informed her of two more brush fires near the Williams Acres Volunteer Fire Department station.

She went over there to stop those fires but her extinguisher was out. A fire tanker arrived at the venue and put out these fires as she controlled traffic. As she was leaving, she said she saw smoke from another small fire nearby and notified fire fighters who put that one out as well.

A high speed pursuit

4/9, Gallup

Officers for the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office and the New Mexico State Police chased down a Georgia man who was wanted as a suspect in a California homicide.

MCSO Capt. James Maiorano said he heard reports on his radio about 5 pm of a pursuit going on along Interstate 40 east of the state line in Arizona heading his way. Arizona authorities were chasing the suspect at speeds up to 110 miles per hour.

Maiorano said he and other deputies headed toward the state line. When he got to the port of entry, he turned around and got on the eastbound lane and began heading east. At about the 14 mile marker, he noticed a black Chrysler approaching him from behind and when it passed, he put on his sirens and lights.

He said no one else was chasing him so he went into pursuit. He saw the vehicle was going 120 miles per hour or faster, passing vehicles on the right and left shoulders. He heard that state police put up spikes at the 18-mile marker but the driver was able to get around them.

The pursuit continued at the same high speeds. State Police were able to put up spikes again at the 30 mile marker and this time was able to blow out the driver’s right front and rear tires, causing him to go into the center medium and stop.

As he came upon the car, Maiorano said a black man with long dreadlocks got out of the vehicle. Maiorano said he pulled out his gun and pointed it at the man, later identified as Keith Jones, 29, of Cusseta, Ga.

Jones was told to drop the cell phone in his hand and get on the ground. After repeating the order several times, the man complied as other officers arrived at the scene.  Jones was placed under arrest for aggravated fleeing and placed in the county jail as authorities secured a warrant to have him extradited.

A car fire

4/9, State Highway 602

MCSO Dep. Anthony Morales said he was dispatched about 11 am to the 16.2-mile marker on New Mexico State Highway 602 where he found a Pontiac Grand Prix totally engulfed in flames.

There was no one in the vehicle but he saw a woman and a young girl standing off to the side. After securing the scene, Morales said he went over to talk to the woman, Vanessa Roybal, who told him that as she left her mother’s house, she noticed that her muffler sounded louder than usual.

Then as she turned onto Highway 602 she looked back and noticed and saw flames coming from the back seat so she stopped her car and she and her daughter got out as it became engulfed in flames.

Father vs. son

4/5, Gallup

Gallup Police Department Officer Nicola Martinez was taking reports at the department when Michael Anthony Perez, 73, walked in and said he was attacked. The suspect was his son. The younger Michael Perez, 51, attacked his father as he vacuumed, according to his statement. The older Perez was bleeding from his face at the time he spoke with officers, Martinez wrote in her report.

Officers had been at the residence with Perez and his son right before he was attacked. The younger Perez allegedly accused his father of calling the police on him, and that he “wanted him arrested,” according to the report. When officers were dispatched to bring the younger Perez in, the older Perez said, “You gonna send officers—you better bring two, he is angry and violent,” according to the report. Perez senior said his son was drunk.

GPD Officer Martin saw the younger Perez walking near his residence and asked him if he had witnessed a fight. Perez then put his hands in his pockets but Martin already noticed they were bloody. He was booked for outstanding warrants, and for the assault on his father.

Employee embezzlement

4/4, Gallup

MCSO Dep. Ivan Tsethlikai Jr. said he was dispatched to the T and R Feed and Rope Center on U.S. Highway 491 north of Gallup about 3:30 pm in reference to a report of embezzlement.

When he got there, he talked to management who reported that an employee at the store stole $160 from the cash register.

They discovered the theft when they closed out the register the night before and noticed the shortage. The next morning, they watched video surveillance and saw the employee go up to the register, pull out some money and place it in her bra. The employee had been working there only a few weeks.

Tsethlikai said he took the report. No arrest was reported at this time.

That’s him!

4/4, U.S. Highway 491

A woman and a man were behind KFC when another man, accompanied by two women, approached her with a gun. The woman said he took out a gold handgun and grabbed her purse, cell phone, ID and bank cards. He held the gun to the side of her head and asked for her PIN number, according to the statement she later gave police. He said if she told anyone, he would return and kill her.

The man left and the woman ran into KFC to phone the police, telling them she was in fear for her life. She said she did not know the man.

GPD officers Nicole Diswood and DeWayne Holder arrived on the scene. As the victim began to give them her description of the suspect, she spotted him, shouting, “That’s him!” and pointed towards the highway. The officers quickly apprehended the suspect, finding the stolen items, a knife, and a BB gun in his pockets. The suspect, Leland Ashley, 38, was booked for armed robbery and aggravated assault.

Swearing with a knife

3/31, Gallup

GPD Officer Cindy Romancito was dispatched to the 300 block of South 3rd Street over reports of a man pulling a knife on another man. Romancito could not see the suspect, and she went to speak to the man who reported the incident, who told her that a man and a woman approached him and pulled a knife as he was walking by, before putting the knife back in his pocket and heading north.

Romancito and the man walked up the street, looking for the suspect. He did not see him, but he saw the woman he was with. The woman said she was walking with her friend Lenny Nez, 49. Officers spotted him soon after and the victim confirmed that he was the man with the knife. Nez was brought into the station swearing at Romancito, before being booked with aggravated assault.

Nameless with children

3/30, Gallup

Officers were sent to Red Rock State Park in response to a woman allegedly driving drunk—with children in the back seat. GPD officers Norman Bowman and Adrian Quetawki arrived at the scene to find a woman parked in the dirt, attempting to change her toddler’s diaper.

When officers asked the woman for her name, she grew upset, according to the police report, and did not identify herself. She said, “I’m not giving you my name,” according to the report.

Officers said the woman was slurring her words. The complainant identified the woman as her daughter Michelle Lee, 35, and said she would take her grandchildren from the scene.

The woman was booked for abandonment of children, and blew a breath sample of .29 at the scene.