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HPD: Man assaulted off-duty police officer

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HPD: Man assaulted off-duty police officer

Nathan Garcia, 29, was charged with aggravated assault (deadly weapon), a fourth-degree felony. He was booked at the Hobbs City Jail.

Around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, an off-duty Hobbs police officer contacted dispatch and reported a man had “brandished a firearm at him” while they were in traffic. The off-duty officer reported he was in his personal vehicle at the time and told Hobbs police he’d accidentally cut off a white Mercedes while driving on Turner Street, according to the criminal complaint. He alleged the Mercedes driver got angry and started honking.

“He said the driver drove erratically by immediately going around (his) pick-up and ‘brake checking’ him when the driver got in front of him,” the detective wrote. “He said they both stopped at a red light at Llano and Turner Street.”

At the red light, the Mercedes driver allegedly threw something out of his window, got out of his vehicle, yelled and threw his arms in the air before getting back into the car and driving south. The off-duty officer reported that he followed him, and the driver waited for him to catch up, yelled and pointed a gun at his pickup.

“He said the Mercedes turned eastbound onto Permian Street off of Turner. (The officer) said the Mercedes drove recklessly as it did not stop for any stop signs.”

Later, while on duty, the Hobbs officer saw the Mercedes he believed was involved in incident, conducted a traffic stop and was “certain” the driver, identified as Garcia, was the person who pointed a gun at him. He described seeing a temporary tag on the car and the driver’s arm tattoos.

In an interview, Garcia told police he recently bought a Mercedes and that he only left his home twice on Wednesday, which was to drop his child off at school and then to get some food shortly before he was pulled over. He said no one else had driven the Mercedes and consented for Hobbs police to search it.

The complaint states another police officer had video of the pickup and Mercedes driving on Turner Street at the time of the incident, which showed a temporary tag on the Mercedes, and Garcia confirmed he had tattoos on his arms.

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