ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A routine welfare check of a car parked on the side of I-25 in San Miguel County in January sent state police officers running out of the way when the driver of a stolen truck slammed into a cruiser and took off; spurring on a high-speed chase.
On January 27, two New Mexico State Police officers pulled up to a truck parked on the shoulder of I-25. Seeing two passengers passed out inside, one of the officers predicts what will happen next: “The second you knock on that door they’re going to take off.”
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After trying to wake up the two men inside, you can see the driver put the car in gear and back into the police car behind them before taking off—leading police on a five-minute car chase northbound on I-25 reaching speeds of over 100 miles per hour. The truck weaved in and out of the lanes, before exiting the 339 off-ramp and slamming into the barrier.
The driver, later identified as Richard Flores, was taken to the hospital. The passenger, a 17-year-old, was not. Due to the damage to the truck, he had to climb out of the side window to be cuffed.
Flores was found to have two active arrest warrants and is a convicted felon. In the police interview that followed Flores admitted he and the 17-year-old drove up from Albuquerque, using drugs along the way.
“Had you guys taken anything today or prior to driving?”
“Fentanyl, that’s it.”
“Fentanyl? So, is that right before you started driving, or did you take it while you’re driving? …Is that what caused you to fall asleep?”
In the police interview, Flores says his passenger stole the truck they were in and that they were headed to Mora to pick up money—thousands in cash. When asked why he backed into the police car and ran: “And so when we knocked on the window, and identified ourselves, how come you took off?” “I got paranoid, scared.”
Flores is currently being held in the San Miguel County Detention Center. The truck turned out to be stolen. Flores also had a gun inside the truck. He’s facing a long list of charges, including aggravated assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, possession of a controlled substance, and DWI.