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Sam Smith

Aug. 28, 11:10 pm

Aggravated DWI

McKinley County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Jim was on patrol when Metro Dispatch put out an attempt to locate a blue Chevy Silverado, which had been stolen from Red Hills Mobile Home Park about 11 pm.

Jim was traveling northbound on Highway 608 near Gallup Flea Market when a speeding truck pulled up behind him. Both vehicles slowed near the stop light at the intersection of U.S. Highway 491 and Highway 608.

Jim noticed the truck matched the description of the stolen vehicle, so he advised Dispatch he had possibly located the suspect vehicle, which he then began following northbound on Chino Loop towards Gamerco.

The truck traveled quickly through the neighborhood and tried to make a right turn onto Summit Avenue. The driver lost control and the truck overturned off the highway. Jim advised Dispatch to send medical units and then inspected the vehicle.

Jim assisted the driver, Sam Smith, 28, of Gallup, out through the driver’s side window. As he helped him, Jim noted Smith smelled of alcohol and slurred his speech, so he placed him in his unit until medical personnel arrived.

Smith told Jim he had been with another person named Adrian in the crash, but Jim did not find any fresh footprints to indicate someone else had been present. Smith said he did not know who the vehicle belonged to because he was picked up, and eventually admitted to drinking three beers about an hour prior.

The owner of the vehicle, Terrance Hooper, arrived on scene shortly afterward. Hooper explained he had been at his mother’s house on Kevin Drive for a few minutes and left the engine running. When he exited the house, he saw the truck backing out of the driveway and speeding off.

Smith refused to be transported, but did agree to the standard field sobriety tests. He failed the tests and also refused to give a breath sample. He was taken to the county jail and booked, where Jim learned Smith had two outstanding bench warrants.