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N.M. State Trooper Who Shot at Van During Pursuit Will Not Be Charged

November 21, 2013  | 

Taos County (N.M.) District Attorney Donald Gallegos has decided not to pursue charges against a New Mexico State Patrol officer who opened fire on a van during a wild traffic stop and pursuit last month.

"[Additional] information could come in, but at this preliminary stage, what I've viewed and what I've reviewed I don't see any criminal charges against any of the officers," Gallegos told KASA TV

In late October Officer Tony DeTavis pulled over Oriana Farrell for doing 71 mph in a 55 mph zone south of Taos. Dash cam video shows the officer and the motorist arguing over the citation, the motorist driving away when the officer went back to his car, the officer stopping Farrell again and attempting to arrest her, Farrell’s 14-year-old son assaulting the officer, back-up officers arriving, Trooper Elias Montoya opening fire on the van as Farrell drives away again, and finally officers taking Farrell into custody in front of a Taos hotel.

Farrell was arrested for child abuse, fleeing, and possession of drug paraphernalia—two marijuana pipes police claim she had in the minivan. Her son was charged with battery on an officer and resisting arrest.

Gallegos says he fully intends to pursue the case against Farrell and her son.

NMSP is investigating the actions of the officers.

In Montoya's State Police report, he says he was shooting at the left rear tire of the van to keep it from fleeing.


Related Story:

Video: Officers Investigated Over Wild N.M. Traffic Stop

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