NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A technicality let an accused drunk driver off the hook again. New Mexico State Police say Jeremy Anaya led drivers on a chase from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, putting countless lives in danger in August of 2020.
The 50-mile pursuit started at Tramway Road and I-25 in Albuquerque. NMSP said an officer attempted to pull Anaya over for speeding. He appeared to comply at first, exiting the highway at Tramway Road. But instead of stopping, video from NMSP shows, Anaya drove through the intersection’s red light and did not stop, even after his car couldn’t take him any farther.
A majority of the chase played out on the highway. Two NMSP officers followed behind Anaya, with one maintaining his distance to keep dispatch up to date. He reported the speeds that the officers and Anaya drove. They ranged from 70 to 120 miles an hour throughout the chase.
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Just past Bernalillo, a spike belt was deployed on the highway. “Sounds like good hit on the stop sticks,” the reporting officer said. Anaya lost a tire, but so did the lead officer. He was instructed to stop and the second officer took over the pursuit.
With one less tire, the officer reported Anaya slowed down. Sparks flew from his vehicle, but he eventually sped back up, reaching 120 miles an hour. It was midnight, so the highway was not crowded. But by KRQE’s count, after watching the video, Anaya passed at least 31 other drivers.
When officers deployed a spike belt again, Anaya lost a second tire. But, he continued to Santa Fe on two rims. One of the officers behind him reported to dispatch, “He’s losing pieces of — pieces of his wheel.” In the dash camera video, you can see and hear those pieces hitting the lead officer’s patrol car.
Anaya eventually took the St. Francis Drive exit in Santa Fe, veering off I-25. As he headed closer to the city, State Police said they needed to stop him. And, dispatch gave the lead officer permission to use the PIT maneuver, the precision immobilization technique. It took the officer three tries, but he was able to stop Anaya’s car.
He did not stop Anaya, though. The suspected drunk driver ran from his vehicle. The officer sprinted after him.
Officer: Get down. I’m gonna tase you. Get down right now.
Anaya: Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.
Officer: Get down on the ground.
Multiple officers swarmed Anaya to get him handcuffed. The paramedics arrived to check him out. Then, the officer asked to speak him. Anaya agreed and explained to the officer that he was headed to the hospital.
Officer: So, you drove from — all the way from Albuquerque up here to Santa Fe, man. Why?
Anaya: That’s — that’s where I was headed.
Officer: You know you could’ve hurt somebody, right?
Anaya: No, I know what I was doing.
Officer: You know what you were doing?
Anaya: But then my car started like f up.
Officer: Yeah, that’s cause you popped your tire.
Anaya: I got scared.
Officer: Why didn’t you just pull over, man, and give yourself up?
Anaya: I don’t know.
Anaya admitted to drinking but said he only had a 40-ounce Miller Lite six hours ago. The Officer told him he noticed “a bunch of beers and some shooters” in the car. “How much of those did you drink tonight?” he asked Anaya. Anaya responded, “It’s probably old.”
The officer told Anaya he would be charged with driving drunk and asked for his consent for a blood draw. Anaya appeared to pass out or fall asleep. “You alright? You just don’t want to pay attention to me anymore, Jeremy?” the officer asked. When the paramedic approached the two, the officer told him, “His eyes are moving.”
Anaya jerked up as the officer pointed a flashlight in his face. The officer tried again to ask for Anaya’s consent for a blood draw and it appeared he pretended to be unconscious again. “Alright, you’re very obviously not unconscious, man. Okay? You’re just refusing to listen to me and answer me,” the officer said.
He tried one final time and Anaya repeatedly interrupted him.
Anaya: No, you don’t have to.
Officer: I have to it’s my job. Just let me get through it, man. Okay?
Anaya: You’re sweating a lot.
Officer: It’s very hot in here.
Anaya: Don’t waste your time.
Despite the multiple interruptions, the officer completed his reading of the request for consent for a blood draw.
Anaya: I don’t give consent to s***.
Anaya: I just want to go to sleep.
Officer: Alright. No consent. Gotcha. Jeremy, feel better, bud.
Anaya: Thank you. Thank you for doing your job.
Officer: Okay, yeah. Take care. I’m glad you didn’t kill anybody.
The Bernalillo County District Attorney did not file charges until a year later — aggravated DWI and aggravated fleeing law enforcement. But, before Anaya faced those charges, he got in trouble in Santa Fe.
Santa Fe Charges
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office said Anaya drunkenly shot at his girlfriend and child on the side of the highway; and then, threatened to kill the arresting officers. Anaya was kept in the Santa Fe County jail as that case played out, which ultimately caused problems in the State Police case. Because it was happening at the same time, but in Bernalillo County.
“Any case that State Police investigates, we want — we want that that person to be held accountable for their actions, and this case is no different,” NMSP’s Lt. Mark Soriano said.
But, Anaya got this case dismissed because the Bernalillo County DA’s Office failed to get Anaya on a Zoom call from jail to appear for his hearing.
“Yeah. It’s very frustrating to hear those technicalities of cases being dismissed,” Lt. Soriano added.
In the judge’s order to dismiss, she noted that this was the second time this happened in the case. But, she left the door open for charges to be refiled.
It appears the Bernalillo County case was almost complete. Court records show the hearing Anaya missed was to discuss the plea he would take.
“As soon as learning about the case being dismissed, our officers reached out to the District Attorney and had that conversation — discussed about refiling their charges,” Lt. Soriano said. Four months later, that has not happened.
So why didn’t Anaya get on that Zoom call?
Before leaving the Office in December 2022, DA Raúl Torrez’s spokesperson issued this statement:
Jeremy Anaya’s case is an example of the need for technological investments in the criminal justice system. Our office expended considerable resources during the pendency of this case attempting to get the defendant to appear virtually for multiple court settings but each time technical problems at the corrections facility prevented his appearance. Instead of the court easily rescheduling the hearing given the defendant’s custodial status, or allowing the State additional time to work with the facility to ensure appearance, the court chose to dismiss the case. Anaya remains in custody and our office is refiling the matter and working with our law enforcement partners to allow for virtual appearances so as to reduce the resource demands on our agency and on those of our corrections partners.
A spokesperson for the newly-appointed DA, Sam Bregman, offered an additional explanation:
At a status hearing in this case the assigned attorney who was new to the matter was not aware that the Defendant was incarcerated in the Department of Corrections. The State requested that the hearing be reset so that the State could make arrangements for the Defendant to appear virtually. This request was denied by the court and instead the judge dismissed the case. However, despite the dismissal, the Defendant remains in custody in the Department of Corrections as he was sentenced to three and a half years of incarceration for multiple felony offenses the month before this matter was dismissed. The State does have the option to refile the case.
Anaya is still behind bars. He pled guilty to the Santa Fe County case and received a sentence of three and a half years in prison.
This is the second dismissal of an aggravated DWI for Anaya. He faced the charge in 2016, but it was dropped after the officer did not show up to court.