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Weekly Police Activity Reports

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Gallup, Sept. 16

A man wasn’t driving drunk, but he was high when police caught up to him.

On Sept. 16, around 8 pm, New Mexico State Police Officer Rachel Hall was driving through McKinley County when she got a call from an off-duty NMSP officer, who told her there was a suspicious person at Taco Bell, 914 E. Hwy. 66.

The officer, Paulena Houston, stated that the man had been doing drugs, and then he took off in a car. She said she began following the car as it took a left on State Road 118 near mile marker 22 and began traveling westbound. Eventually, the car reportedly parked at the courthouse, 207 W. Hill Ave.

Hall started driving to the location, but then Houston said the vehicle took off, traveling east on West Aztec Avenue. According to her report, Hall was finally able to catch up with the car on Country Club Drive and pulled it over.

The driver, Donny Baldwin, got out of the vehicle. As he did, Hall noticed his movements were fast and jerky, and that he appeared unstable. She also noticed Baldwin, 41, had bloodshot and watery eyes and he slurred his speech when he spoke to her.

Baldwin said he didn’t have a valid driver’s license, and Hall later learned that his license was revoked because of a DWI.

Despite the evidence, Baldwin said he hadn’t been drinking. However, he did admit to taking drugs.

Baldwin agreed to  a Field Sobriety Test. He did not pass the tests.

When she searched Baldwin’s car Hall found drug paraphernalia on the floorboard on the driver’s side.

Baldwin was charged with his fifth DWI, driving while license revoked (DWI revoked), no evidence of registration, no insurance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28.


Gallup, Sept. 16

A man tried stealing some gardening supplies from Home Depot, but it didn’t end up working out for him.

On Sept. 16, around 10:30 am, Gallup Police Officer Jerald Watchman was dispatched to 530 Kachina St., Home Depot, when some employees called Metro Dispatch about a shoplifter. The employees said the man was wearing a gray sweater, and that he walked out the back door of the business with a cart full of merchandise. The man was reportedly heading toward Rio West Mall.

When Watchman arrived at the scene, two employees told him the man, who was later identified as Daren Kalani Yukio Simeona Jr., got into a black Dodge Dakota pick-up truck.

Watchman found the vehicle heading east on Metro Avenue, and it eventually pulled into the Pizza Hut North, 715 N. Hwy. 491. According to his report, Watchman noticed a man in the truck bed, who ducked down once he saw Watchman’s police car.

As Watchman drove through the Pizza Hut parking lot to try and reach the truck, Simeona, 39, hopped out and jumped a small wall before heading south toward Speedway North.

According to Watchman’s report, Simeona took off his gray sweater and went into the gas station.

Watchman waited for his back up to arrive before he went into the gas station to arrest Simeona. Once he walked inside the gas station though, Watchman grabbed Simeona’s wrists and told him he was under arrest.

In response, Simeona stiffened up, and began to clinch his fist. Because he was resisting arrest, Watchman had to take Simeona to the ground.

After Watchman put Simeona in his patrol car Metro Dispatch informed him that the man had a couple outstanding warrants.

Once Simeona was in his custody, Watchman went back to the Home Depot to talk to the employees.

The employees stated that they initially heard the back door alarm going off, and that’s when they saw Simeona with his cart full of items. They saw him get into the pickup truck and saw him throwing the stolen items into the back of the vehicle.

According to the employees, Simeona almost fell out of the truck as he was trying to get into it to get away.

An employee was able to provide a list of the items Simeona had attempted to steal. They included a Ryobi brand air compressor valued at $179, a Feit 80W 14” Full Specter grow light that cost $160, and a Siphon Feed Spray gun that cost almost $80. In total, the items came out to just over $558.

Simeona was charged with shoplifting. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28.

Staff Reports