Crime

NMSP officer accused of assaulting Rio Rancho business owner

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) - A State Police officer is in hot water after being accused of attacking a man in a funeral home.

State Police recently hired him away from another department, on the heels of a controversial crash.

Rio Rancho Police say they were called to French Funerals & Cremations, near Unser and Northern, last month.

According to a criminal complaint, Joseph Harris, who is a New Mexico State Police Officer, came into the business off-duty looking for the manager.

Police say he walked into the business in an aggressive manner, looking to serve him regarding a civil financial issue.

Police say Harris shoved the paperwork into the manager's chest and said, "You've been served," and added the b-word for good measure.

You might remember Harris was involved in a nasty crash back in January, when he was with the Sandoval County Sheriff's Department.

Harris claims he was chasing a speeding motorcyclist when he crashed his patrol truck into another car.

The passengers in the car he hit have since filed a lawsuit against Harris, claiming he was driving recklessly.

KRQE News 13 reached out to NMSP, which says it could not comment on the case. However, State Police say Officer Harris is on paid leave pending this investigation.

Harris was charged with battery and disorderly conduct. 

NMSP, which has an officer shortage, hired Harris away from the Sandoval County Sheriff's Office a few months ago, before that crash lawsuit was filed.


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