Man accused of impersonating officer subject of 1995 manhunt


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It turns out a man accused of impersonating an officer this weekend, to an actual officer, was the focus of a massive manhunt back in 1995.

46-year-old Daniel Mitchem was arrested this weekend after allegedly walking up to an undercover officer downtown and putting his hand on a gun in his waistband and claiming he was with the sheriff’s department.

Mitchem was the big story in 1995 after he and another prisoner Sebastian Eccleston used bedsheets to lower themselves between floors of the old Bernalillo County Detention Center.

They then broke into a cabinet and found a blowtorch and a hacksaw they used to break out. They then jumped to the street below. They were caught 16 hours later.

Mitchem was in lockup for killing a Belen school employee during a carjacking. He was sentenced to 36 years in prison and was released in 2013.

He’s had a clean record until his arrest this weekend. Prosecutors argued today to have him held until trial but Judge Christina Jaramillo denied that request.

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