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Latest on driver who crashed into local bank

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One man’s drunk driving incident led to damage to a railroad arm, the Indian Jewelers Supply building, and Washington Federal Bank.

On June 7, around 7:27 am, Gallup Police Officer Patrick Largo was dispatched to the area of West Maloney Avenue and North Third Street due to a report of a person driving recklessly.

When Largo arrived at the scene, he saw a black Ford Excursion with Arizona license plates facing southbound in the median at the West Maloney Avenue intersection.

According to Largo’s report, he noticed that the SUV’s engine was still running, yet the man behind the wheel was fast asleep. He also saw a Natural Ice beer in the middle console.

Largo tried to get into the SUV so he could turn it off, and as he tried to open the door, the driver woke up and sped off.

The officer quickly hopped back into his patrol car and followed the SUV southbound on North Third Street. As he approached the railroad tracks on North Third Street, Largo had to stop because a train was coming through. While he was stopped he noticed that the right-side railroad arm had been broken off.

While Largo was waiting for the train to pass, Metro Dispatch told him that the SUV had crashed into the Washington Federal Bank, 221 W. Aztec Ave. When Largo finally came up to the bank, he saw that the SUV had crashed into the northwest side of the bank.

Largo placed some “stop sticks” behind the SUV’s rear tires to prevent the driver from driving off again. Then he and Officer Richard Rangel III approached the SUV’s side door and met the driver, Mario Gordon, from Houck, Ariz.

Gordon, 33, allegedly said he wasn’t drunk. He also told the officers he took the keys out of the ignition, which Rangel said was a good idea.

Largo noticed that Gordon’s eyes were red and bloodshot and that he was slurring his speech.

Gordon told the officers that he didn’t crash into the bank on purpose, and he asked them to “investigate the other person too.” However, there were no other vehicles involved in the crash.

Largo asked if Gordon could move around inside the SUV, and he said he could, but he also said he would need help getting out of the car. Largo decided to wait for medical staff to arrive to help Gordo. Once he was removed from the vehicle, Gordon was placed on a gurney and into an ambulance.

Rangel told Largo that Gordon had damaged the bank, the railroad arm, and the Indian Jewelers Supply building, 601 E. Coal Ave. At the time of Largo’s report, Rangel and Officer Aaron Marquez were still trying to determine how much all of the damage Gordo caused would cost.

Gordon  would not consent to a blood draw, so Largo had to file a blood warrant.

Before Largo left the scene of the accident, he noticed a 12 pack of Natural Ice beer laying on the driver’s side floorboard of the Excursion.

Once he had gotten the blood warrant approved by a judge, Largo drove to the local hospital where Gordon was receiving medical attention.

Gordon was not arrested at that time because he was still receiving care at the hospital. Largo filed a criminal summons for Gordon, citing him for an open container in a moving vehicle, three counts of criminal damage, fleeing a law enforcement officer, a DWI, and careless driving.

Gordon was still in the hospital at the time when Largo filed his report.

His first appearance in court will be July 1.

Staff Reports