An early morning police chase Friday ended with a driver’s arrest after he allegedly evaded Hobbs police in reported stolen truck, ran stop signs and continued driving after his tires were spiked.
Hobbs resident Steven Calderon, 26, was arrested on charges of aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, criminal damage to property, receiving or transferring stolen motor vehicle, criminal failure to appear, driving while under the influence of drugs, driving while license revoked and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also booked at the Hobbs City Jail for traffic offenses of driving on roadways laned for traffic, stop sign and red light.
Around 3:06 a.m. Friday, Hobbs police attempted to pull over a white truck that was driving at a slow speed and repeatedly hitting the brakes. It swerved out of its lane of traffic, appeared like it had stopped at Green Acres and Dal Paso before continuing to “swerve back and forth” on Dal Paso, according to the criminal complaint, and police believed the driver might be under the influence. The complaint states the vehicle accelerated to around 30 to 35 miles per hour, swerved out of its lane and into the opposing lane.
“There were numerous parked vehicles in the general area and it appeared as though the driver was going to strike one of them,” the complaint states.
The pursuing officer turned on his sirens, but the truck kept driving, “running posted stop signs” and making “abrupt turns.” Police learned the truck was reported stolen, while the driver, identified as Calderon, traveled north of Hobbs where Lea County Sheriff’s Office deputies assisted. An officer deployed spike strips that disabled part of the truck and it drove southbound into Hobbs. Calderon allegedly drove “recklessly” into oncoming lanes of traffic.
“After the vehicle was successfully spiked again, Calderon began to drag the vehicle’s deflating tires onto the city roadways,” the complaint states. “As the tires lost air, debris and parts of the vehicle began to come off. He continued to decrease the safety of others, by dragging the metal rims on the pavement and repeatedly lose control of the vehicle.”
Officers reportedly blocked off intersections and the pursuit ultimately ended at a dead end on Leech Street and Stanolind Road where Calderon exited the truck and was taken into custody. The complaint alleges an officer saw Calderon holding what appeared like a smoking pipe and lighter at one point during the pursuit. A glass pipe with burn marks and residue was later located inside the truck.
Calderon underwent field sobriety tests, a breath test and agreed to blood testing, the complaint states. He also “admitted to smoking a ‘dub’ referring to methamphetamine.”
Hobbs Police Chief Chris McCall confirmed Monday there were no injuries from the incident and Calderon was still in custody. He said a $6,000 bond amount was set for Calderon with $2,000 of that amount stemming from a failure to appear warrant on an aggravated burglary charge. New Mexico court records reflect the May burglary charge is pending in Hobbs Magistrate Court.
Kelly Farrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.