SIERRA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico State Police, along with the United States Border Patrol, arrested a man on Oct. 20, after he fled from a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 25 north of Las Cruces. State police and a Sierra County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop the driver, 25-year-old Armando Almaraz Jr., using a tire deflation tactic. Almaraz drove over the deflation device, but it did not stop him.
Almaraz’s car did stop, however, after NMSP Officer Mike Jones used a PIT maneuver on the vehicle near milepost 72. Then, officials say Jones exited his vehicle and approached Almaraz’s. That’s when the officer heard Almaraz accelerate his vehicle and traveled in Jones’s direction. Officer Jones shot at Almaraz and struck him. As Jones shot at the oncoming vehicle, Almaraz swerved around the officer and crashed onto the east side of Interstate 25.
After the crash, Almaraz surrendered peacefully and was taken into custody without further incident. Almaraz was taken to an El Paso hospital and, upon release, booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center.
Almaraz was charged with multiple felonies including aggravated battery on a peace officer and possession of a firearm by a felon. Officer Jones was placed on administrative leave. He’s been with the NMSP for about two years.