Teenager who took deputy’s cruiser on joyride files suit, blames deputy

Crime

FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – A drunk teenager wandering the streets at night is now filing a lawsuit against the deputy who tried to help her.

Deputy: “I’m going to have you sit in my truck for now while I go talk to your mom.”

In lapel video from 2018, then 16-year-old Samaria Gray gets out of the back seat of the cruiser, hops into the front and takes off.

Deputy: “Oh, sh**!”

“She’s going 80 MPH for about three minutes down the road,” said Terri Keller, an attorney with the Mark Keller Law Office. Gray sideswiped several cars before crashing into a ravine off Bloomfield Highway in Farmington.

“Her femur is broken. Her face is bloody and she’s actually holding the corporal’s handgun at the time, near her face,” said Keller. A new lawsuit claims all of the damages and Gray’s injuries are actually the San Juan County Corporal’s fault.

“Yes, she was intoxicated and she got in that seat, but, but for his actions, none of this would’ve happened,” said Keller. The lawsuit claims the San Juan County corporal did not restrain Gray, lock his patrol car or take the keys out of the ignition before walking away.

“She was pretty severely intoxicated and we know that severely intoxicated people, I mean that’s pretty common sense, make really bad decisions, right? The officer knows that, too. So, it was glaring oversight on his part,” said Keller. The lawsuit is asking for more training for deputies and at least $300,000 to pay for Gray’s medical bills.

Bade: “Why should she get any kind of payout or settlement from a deputy who was trying to help her?”
Keller: “And, I can understand that. I see that people see that.”

Keller goes on to say, the corporal still had a duty to secure the scene and make sure everyone was safe, regardless of the choices Gray had already made that night. Gray did plead guilty to DWI and completed a counseling program. The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office did not return KRQE News 13’s calls.

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