Home Local News Man accused of trying to steal airplane, then fleeing on a baggage tractor

Man accused of trying to steal airplane, then fleeing on a baggage tractor

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Virginia Cunningham/News-Sun

Late Sunday night a Carlsbad man allegedly stole a pickup truck, crashed that truck through the security gates at Lea County Regional Airport and tried to steal an airplane — but only managed to break into a hanger and take off on a baggage tractor.

On Sunday, Hobbs police and Lea County Sheriff deputies were led on a low-speed chase by Sebastian Rios Sierra, 32, of Carlsbad as he drove that baggage tractor through town.

Sierra was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer, a third degree felony, battery upon a peace officer, aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer, both fourth degree felonies, two counts resisting/evading/obstructing an officer, running a red light, all misdemeanors.

HPD officer Royal Hopper was dispatched in reference to someone, later identified as Sierra, driving the baggage tractor around the 1800 block of Marland Boulevard.

Hopper spotted Sierra around the intersection of Marland Boulevard and Grimes Street, according to the report.

Hopper turned on his lights as he came behind Sierra, but Sierra ignored Hopper and continued driving. Hopper got close enough to the back of the tractor to see the words “United Ground Express” written on it, and recognized the baggage tractor to be a baggage tractor from the airport.

HPD officer Olenik joined the chase and passed Hopper and Sierra in order to block traffic at the intersection of Turner Street and Marland — as apparent Sierra had no intention of stopping at.

Sierra continued to evade police gong as fast as the baggage tractor could go while Olenik attempted to deploy a tire deflation device. According to the HPD report Sierra swerved in Olenik’s direction in an attempt to run him over.

Deployment of the TDD was unsuccessful.

The chase continued as Sierra turned south onto Dal Paso Street. Deputy Crouch of the LCSO was waiting at the intersection of Dal Paso Street and Stanolind Road to attempt a deployment of another TDD, but Sierra again purposely steered toward a law enforcement officer in an effort to run him over, the report stated.

Crouch was forced to evade the baggage tractor driven by Sierra and deployment of that TDD was unsuccessful.

Sierra then headed east on Stanolind Road, continuing to evade police and deputies by driving through the surrounding neighborhood.

Another deputy was able to deploy a TDD near Prairie Haven Cemetery. The front driver’s side tire on the baggage tractor was deflated by the TDD, per the report.

Sierra continued to evade law enforcement, by refusing to pull over, until around the 3000 block of Stanolind Road where he attempted to make a turn, but could not complete it without stopping because of the damaged tire.

When Hopper saw Sierra stop, he exited his patrol vehicle and ran to remove Sierra off the tractor. Sierra allegedly kicked Hopper in the chest.

Hopper pulled Sierra from the tractor, but according to the report Sierra continued to resist arrest, and at one point tried to rip Hopper’s gun from his holster.

LCSO deputies were asked by Hopper to deploy a taser, to stop Sierra from getting Hopper’s weapon.

At least two tasers were deployed by other law enforcement officers, with prongs noted in both Sierra and Hopper. Law enforcement was able to subdue Sierra and place him under arrest.

EMS was called but Sierra denied having any injuries.

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