Socorro, NM - Detained Man In Patrol Car For Stolen Vehicle Steals NMSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Patrol Car - Shots Fired At Fleeing Patrol Car - Crash Into Ditch

January 21, 2016

A man who had been arrested for driving a stolen vehicle outside Socorro Thursday morning tried to escape by nabbing the police vehicle, too, according to a spokeswoman for the New Mexico State Police.

The officer who had detained the suspect shot at him as he drove away, but missed, said Sgt. Elizabeth Armijo.

Armijo said around 9:30 a.m. a commercial vehicle enforcement officer with the State Police spotted the man in Lemitar driving a stolen vehicle from California.

The officer put the suspect in the back seat of his police cruiser while he investigated, she said.

The suspect didn’t stay there.

“During the course of time the suspect was detained, the suspect escaped from the rear seat, entered the driver’s seat, unlawfully stole the police vehicle, and fled,” Armijo said.

The officer and a Socorro County Sheriff’s deputy pursued the escapee for approximately two miles until he crashed into a drainage canal, Armijo said. Neither the officers nor the suspect were injured.

Armijo said the names of the suspect and the officer won’t be released until they have been interviewed. The officer is on standard administrative leave, she said.