BOSQUE FARMS — Two men led local law enforcement officers on a 5-mile plus chase after a woman spotted them driving her stolen car last week.
The driver of the car, identified as Samuel Orona, 28, of Belen, was booked into the Valencia County Detention Center on charges of aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer and receiving and transferring a stolen vehicle, both fourth-degree felonies, and resisting or evading arrest, a misdemeanor.
Orona is being held on a no-bond hold, as well as a $2,500 cash surety bond for an outstanding bench warrant.
The passenger has not been charged.
Bosque Farms Police Chief Paul Linson said the investigation is ongoing and there may be additional charges.
“It’s still early in the investigation, and at this time we didn’t feel it was necessary to book the passenger of the vehicle,” Linson said.
At about 5:18 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 31, the BFPD received a call from a woman who said she was driving behind her recently stolen vehicle, a silver Kia Optima. The woman reported she was on N.M. 47 in the town of Peralta.
“As our officers arrived, the suspect … fired upon the caller and our officers,” wrote BFPD Lt. Patrick Ficke in a written statement. “Myself and (BFPD) Chief (Paul) Linson were on scene and authorized a pursuit.”
The suspects fled in the stolen car, eventually stopping on North El Cerro Loop near Kelly Lane. The driver of the vehicle fled on a nearby ditch bank. A Bosque Farms officer shot at the suspect.
“Shortly after shots were fired the suspect was taken into custody by our officer and a Valencia County Sheriff’s Office sergeant,” Ficke wrote.
According to a press release from the NMSP, Orona was tased by the sergeant before he was taken into custody.
The passenger of the vehicle was taken into custody where the vehicle stopped.
“Officers involved illustrated the upmost professionalism during this incident to ensure the safety of the public. Neither suspect sustained any injuries nor did any officer involved in the incident,” Ficke’s statement reads. “As of this morning (Friday, Feb. 1), the citizens of Peralta, Bosque Farms and Los Lunas have not reported any injuries or damages relating to the aforementioned incident.”
New Mexico State Police are handling the investigation, and the officer who fired his weapon is on standard paid administrative leave per the village of Bosque Farms Police Department’s policies and procedures, Ficke wrote.
“Chief Linson would like to thank all of the law enforcement agencies who assisted during yesterday’s incident,” his statement concluded. “All agencies involved came together as a team to assist the Bosque Farms Police Department. Thank you.”
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.