ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A stolen car, a police chase and a crash that killed three people have now led to a lawsuit against the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. The lawsuit alleges two of the stolen car’s passengers were innocent victims.
“They considered trying to jump from the vehicle at times because they were just so desperate,” said Lauren Zabicki, an attorney.
Zabicki is representing Tatyana Platt and the estate of Tessi Parker, who was killed in a crash following a pursuit by both BCSO and APD.
Zabicki says in August 2017, Platt and Parker were in the back seat of a car, as Robin Rael sat in the passenger seat of a stolen car driven by Dominic Moya.
Platt was seriously injured. Parker and Moya were killed when the car crashed into a tow truck at Tramway and Central. Rael died from her injured weeks later.
The lawsuit claims, BCSO deputies and APD officers chased the stolen car all the way there from Edith and Candelaria.
“No one appeared to have cared at all about who might have been in that vehicle,” said Zabicki.
In the lawsuit, Zabicki claims officers and deputies violated state law by chasing the stolen car for 20-30 minutes, for miles across Albuquerque.
“There was no immediate danger to the public in letting this person remain at large,” said Zabicki.
She also claims, in the officers violating that law they took the life, and seriously injured, two innocent women.
“They [Platt and Parker] didn’t know the driver at all, they didn’t know who he was, they’d never met him before,” said Zabicki.
Zabicki says Rael was the only one who knew Moya, and her clients were not aware of his criminal history or that the car was stolen until they were already inside.
“When the police showed up, he said, ‘Oh, this is stolen,’ and revealed to them what was going on,” said Zabicki.
Parker leaves behind two young daughters and has no known criminal record in New Mexico.
Platt has charges against her for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, driving with a suspended license and without insurance.
Moya has a long criminal history. At the time of the crash, Moya was out on conditional release in connection to a case earlier this year when he led deputies all the way to Valencia County in a stolen car, where he tried to ram a deputy’s car.
APD and BCSO did not want to comment on the lawsuit. BCSO added in its no-comment statement, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office is committed to the safety of all our children, families and small businesses.