PORTALES, N.M. (KRQE) - A second high-speed chase in less than a week took place in one part of New Mexico. In this case, the driver even tried to get the deputy to crash into him and it was captured on dash cam.
As a Roosevelt County Sheriff's Deputy caught up to a speeder in Portales doing 85 in a 65 mph zone, passing traffic, the driver goes even faster. The deputy stayed on his tail, as the driver ignored the sirens.
"He wants to make sure he stays safe, and the public stays safe, but ultimately we want to know why the person's fleeing, and we also want to get them caught," explained Chief Deputy Malin Parker, of the Roosevelt County Sheriff's Department.
Driving nearly 100 mph, the car swerved through Saturday afternoon traffic on highway 70. The driver, later identified as 23-year-old Leonel Lopez, has a history of burglary crimes and a warrant for violating parole. But deputies didn't know this yet, as the chase continued, headed toward Clovis.
"Mr. Lopez did place my deputy in harms way and attempt to potentially injure him by hitting his brakes and causing him to ram his vehicle," Parker said. The deputy backed off, after getting the license plate information.
By the time Lopez made it into Clovis, Curry County Sheriff's deputies and New Mexico State Police were involved.
Deputies laid out road spikes, creating a road block to prevent Lopez from driving into Clovis city limits. But Lopez saw it coming, and swerved into residential streets.
Making quick turns, at one point the deputy chased him through a rough, dirt road. The deputy lost sight of the car, but a Curry County Sherrif's Deputy located it near a mobile home a short time later.
Lopez was found hiding near the car, and was arrested.
"He absolutely made it worse for himself, had he turned himself in, for whatever charges he was originally in trouble for, he would have answered to those charges, now he's got multiple other felony charges," said Parker.
Days before, Walmart shop-lifters tried to outrun police on the same highway, driving 100 mph. That pursuit ended in two arrests.
"Even if we don't chase them, we are going to apprehend them sooner or later," said Parker.
Not only does Lopez face charges for the chase, including aggravated fleeing, speeding, and for violating his parole, deputies also found methamphetamine on him.
Deputies were led on a chase around 4 p.m. Monday after a person called 911 to report their vehicle had been stolen and was being driven recklessly around Albuquerque.
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