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Unruly husband assaults deputies before arrest

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A call for a domestic dispute led to deputies being assaulted by a suspect.

McKinley County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Shirley arrived at the residence on Portal Avenue in Gamerco about 6:29 pm on Dec. 12. He met the calling party, who told him her husband, Joseph Harker, 37, of Gamerco, went to Kirkland to pick up their children. However, she said her oldest daughter had to drive the children home and pick her up from work because her husband sounded intoxicated.

The caller said she and her husband began arguing on the drive back to their residence. She told him to get out of the vehicle, but he refused, and it escalated when they got back to Gamerco and she wanted him removed from the residence.

Harker was at the family’s home when Shirley arrived and both competed to give their sides of the story. Harker admitted to drinking, but said the cause of his distress was his wife getting upset and putting him down. Shirley pointed out that this was not the first time these disputes had resulted in calls to the sheriff’s office.

Harker said the drinking was the cause of the arguments between them. Then he got upset and said Shirley he was taking his wife’s side in the argument. Harker continued to be disorderly as Deputy Dewayne Holder arrived at the scene afterward.

He then got upset and began to cry, talking about threatening to hurt himself in the past and his wife stopping him. He said he was going to just close the door and harm himself. Based on his history and his statements at the scene, the officers decided to take him to Gallup Indian Medical Center for a mental evaluation.

But once the officers tried to detain him, Harker became aggressive and refused to go. He pushed Holder into the wall and then tried to throw Shirley to the ground. During the scuffle, Harker’s son attempted to get between the men and break up the fight, but he was pulled back by his mother.

Both Shirley and Harker fell to the ground afterward, during which Harker attempted to put Shirley in a chokehold. Shirley was able to tase Harker and knock him down. Despite his refusal to move his arms, Holder managed to get Harker into handcuffs.

Due to the tasing and a cut to his right eye, medical units were called to the scene for treatment. Harker was placed under arrest about 7:22 pm and transported to GIMC for clearance.

He was then taken to McKinley County Adult Detention Center and booked for battery on a peace officer and resisting arrest.

Staff Reports