ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – It was a short chase, but it was packed full of danger. New Mexico State Police were trying to track down a stabbing suspect, but the arrest did not go according to plan and the suspect is still on the loose, weeks later. A PIT maneuver, shattered window, taser, and gunshots weren’t enough to stop Jerome Naranjo before he disappeared into the night from a dark mobile home park.
Española and State Police officers were serving an arrest warrant for Jerome Naranjo, after he was accused of stabbing someone over an unpaid debt just a few days before. They caught up to him in the passenger seat of an SUV on June 14 but the woman behind the wheel wasn’t stopping. Just seconds after officers try a PIT maneuver, the driver tries to take off again. “Get out of the car,” one officer is heard yelling as he tries to smash in the side window. “Get out of the car!”
Officers had no luck getting Naranjo out of the passenger seat, so the officers pulls out a taser. About 20 seconds after taking off again, the Toyota gets pinned by Española PD and Naranjo takes off running before the same NMSP officer who tried to tase Naranjo, says Naranjo pointed a gun at him.
The officer fires twice. Others join in for the chase, but Naranjo is gone. “He was hiding right behind here, pulled out the pistol, and I was right there,” an officer is heard saying on lapel camera footage. “He had it pointed at me as he was running and shot going in that direction.”
Police returned to that neighborhood in full force when the sun came up to search for Naranjo and talked to neighbors, but once again, Naranjo was nowhere to be found. Three weeks later, he’s still on the loose and police say they don’t have any leads on where he might be hiding. Naranjo, who’s 37, has a record stretching back to when he was 20, mostly for drugs.