It was a dramatic turn of events for Socorro police. What started as a traffic stop ended with a Socorro city vehicle being stolen and the suspect fleeing from police.
When Socorro police first pulled the man over for having his hazards on, they had no idea the driver would take off and eventually try to hit them.
“I fired my AR trying to hit his tires,” the officer said to dispatch in the video.
It was around 5:00 in the morning on Jan. 27 when they made a traffic stop.
“Is there a reason that you had your hazards on?” the officer asked the driver.
“Oh, no,” the driver replied. “I wasn’t paying attention, sir.”
The man behind the wheel claimed he was on his way to work in Ruidoso when he took a wrong turn.
“Do you have your driver’s license?” the officer asked. “What’s your birthday?”
“James Powers, sir,” the driver responded. “3-18-89.”
While the driver complied with police at first, that quickly changed.
“Date of birth, Powers, James, 1989-03-18 returns no record found,” dispatch informed the officer on scene.
The officer marched back up to the driver’s car.
“What’s your real name?” he asked.
“That’s my name,” the driver said.
“That’s not your name. What is your birth date?” the officer asked.
“3-22-18…I mean 89,” the driver responded.
After giving officers a different date of birth to search, the cop gave him a warning.
“If you don’t come back this time, you are going to jail automatically for concealing identity,” the officer said.
It was a warning the driver took to heart as he fled the scene and took police on a pursuit, hitting speeds of more than 100 mph.
He led officers into a yard of city cars, where he made his next move.
‘He just stole a city truck,” the officer called out.
“He just hit an officer. We need to get him to stop,” another officer called out.
Driving the stolen Ford F-250, cops did what they could to stop him.
“Do you have any spike strips?” one officer asked.
“Yeah, but he is just turning around too fast that we can’t. We won’t be able to get ahold or ahead of him,” the officer responded.
The pursuit was eventually canceled 40 minutes north of Socorro, in Veguita.
The driver is still on the loose. KRQE News 13 reached out to the Socorro Police chief to find out why they are not releasing the suspect’s name. He did not return our calls.
The only information officers are releasing is that Socorro Police have issued a warrant for his arrest.