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The legal limit is .08

Pernall Begay

Feb. 21, 11:44 pm

Aggravated DWI

Gallup Police Department Officer Justin Benally was called to a scene at  the Mootel Motel, 1305 Hwy 66, in response to a report of an aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. The victim, 23, was lying on the ground as the officer arrived on the scene.

The man had been arguing with Begay was a family member, who had arrived at his motel room intoxicated. The victim told him to come back when he was sober. According to the report, Begay, 31, did not cooperate with the request and began throwing objects at the victim.

The situation escalated even further as Begay entered his minivan, revved his engine, and proceeded to drive towards the victim. A friend of the victim tried to save him by shoving him out of the way, but he became trapped under the vehicle and his leg was broken, and according to a later testimony he was taken to the hospital.

Begay then reportedly fled the scene heading eastbound on Hwy 66. A McKinley County Sheriff’s Office deputy pulled him over near El Capitan Motel at 1300 Hwy 66, where he noted the odor of alcohol emanating from the allegedly aggressive Begay as well as a head laceration.

A sheriff’s deputy asked him to calm down, but the situation worsened and it was clear that he would not submit to a sobriety test. Begay claimed he had never been to the Mootel and knew nothing about his family member that had found lying on the ground.

Begay was noncompliant and refused medical treatment repeatedly after being taken to a local hospital for the laceration. He was also booked for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Victoria Lynn Pinto

Feb. 16, 9:53 pm


GPD Officer John Whitsitt received a call to investigate a reckless driver operating without headlamps on the west side of Gallup near Allsups.

The responsible citizen who made the call assisted the GPD by following the vehicle while the officer was en route and reported to Metro Dispatch that it had stopped at Giant west located at 3302 Hwy 66.

After arriving on the scene, Whittsitt approached Pinto and noted in his report the odor of alcohol and slow, slurred speech as she responded to his questions. She claimed that a friend was inside the store paying for gas.

The officer administered the field sobriety tests and she failed. After being placed under arrest, other officers told Whitsitt that they had discovered a small child hiding in the back seat. Pinto’s 6-year-old daughter had been in the vehicle while she was intoxicated.

Another officer transported the girl to the safety of her grandmother’s’ home while Whitsitt administered breath tests. She blew a .14, twice, and was charged with abandonment or abuse of a child.

Frederick Nelson Billie

Feb. 8, 1:55 am

2nd DWI, Aggravated

GPD Officer Francis Collins responded to a report about a suspicious vehicle parked at a 7-2-11 store, 610 West Maloney Ave. Billie, 31, who was asleep in the driver’s seat, had placed several bags of heroin on the center console of the vehicle in clear view of the officer. Billier admitted freely what it was and cooperated as the officer administered a field sobriety test. According to Collins report, Billie behaved oddly and also failed the tests. Billie admitted to taking some of the heroin earlier that night and was also booked for  possession.

Daniel K Cornfield

Feb. 8, 5:59 pm

2nd DWI, aggravated

McKinley County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Johnson Lee caught a vehicle on radar speeding west on U.S. Route 264 near the 12.1 mile marker. Cornfield, 40, who was accompanied by a passenger, allegedly to the officer and claimed his name was Ricky Yoe. He explained that he did not have a driver’s license. Lee suspected that he was lying and ran the name through the system. When it did not return any results and he failed the field sobriety tests, the passenger, a family member, revealed his name. She was permitted to leave with the car as it was registered in her name. He blew 0.16/0.17.

Rufus R. McCabe

Feb. 6, 9:35 pm

3rd DWI, Aggravated

Officer Daniel Brown of the GPD arrived on the scene of a vehicle accident at U.S. 491 and west Maloney Avenue in Gallup.
McCabe’s wrecked vehicle was filled with three empty bottles of alcohol behind the driver’s seat, Brown’s report states.

The 35-year-old slurred and grunted at the officer, claiming the accident had been caused by ice. While it had been raining earlier it was warm enough that no ice could have formed.

Brown noted the strong odor of alcohol, his bloodshot eyes and heavy, labored breathing. McCabe refused to answer any more questions and complained about lower back pain. He was transported by ambulance to a medical facility.

Witnesses told the officer that McCabe hit the corner at a high speed while heading south on west Maloney Avenue, and crashed into the curb before rolling into the dirt. At the hospital McCabe continued to claim he had hit a patch of ice. He was booked for multiple offenses including careless driving.

Allison Natewa

Nov. 13, 1:48 am


GPD officers John Gonzales and Douglas Hoffman were traveling west near each other on Hwy 66, when suddenly, as they approached Coal Avenue, a vehicle abruptly cut off Hoffman, who had to brake to avoid a crash. Hoffman pulled Natewa, 30, over and spoke with her. He asked her to turn off the vehicle and exit it. She failed field sobriety tests. Her boyfriend in the passenger’s seat was also intoxicated. She blew 0.17 during the breath test.

Laverne Barton

Nov. 12 11:16 PM

Aggravated DWI

Even though MCSO Task Force Supervisor Tammy Houghtaling was nearing the end of her shift, she was alert and ready enough to save a driver from the serious risk of death.

Houghtaling was assisting the Gallup Police Department at a stop on I-40, on the exit 22 ramp, when suddenly a vehicle got on the freeway without their headlights turned on.

Houghtaling ran as fast as she could to her squad car, worried as she glanced down I-40 to witness a semi-truck approaching towards the rear of the darkened vehicle. She was afraid the driver would be in a serious life-threatening accident.

Fortunately for the driver, she was able to stop the vehicle near the 21 mile marker before it could be hit. As Barton, 56, was parking, the law officer noted that she nearly hit a guardrail. Laverne said she did not realize the lights were turned off, while Houghtaling observed the smell of alcohol coming from the vehicle. She failed field sobriety tests and blew .16/.16.