Police Blotter: Pindale man pleads guilty to tasing officer
A Pinedale, New Mexico, man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Albuquerque to assaulting a Navajo Police officer by grabbing his taser and stunning him twice in the shoulder.
Elvis Lee Tom, 41, is waiting to be sentenced on charges of assaulting a police officer. According to federal court records, Navajo Police Officer Willis Martine was dispatched to Second Canyon Road in Pinedale because of a domestic disturbance. When he got there, he met Phoebia Tom who said her husband damaged her pickup.
Martine examined the pickup and noticed one of the windows had been broken and the ignition assembly appeared to have been tampered with. He started helping her prepare the truck to be towed when a man drove up and asked why they were towing his truck.
Martine asked if he was Elvis Tom and when he said yes, Martine told him he was under arrest. Tom reportedly resisted, causing Martine to pull out his taser and stun Tom in the stomach as he was coming toward the officer. The taser apparently had no affect and Martine said he had to use it again, this time hitting Tom’s thighs.
The two continued to struggle and Martine said Tom managed to grab the taser and use it on him, hitting him in the shoulder. When asked later how much pain this caused, Martine said a “10.” It didn’t take him long to recover and Martine said he was able to subdue Tom and place him in handcuffs.
On the following day, Tom was interviewed by FBI agents and said he had been drinking and got mad at his wife and family. He said he left the residence and hotwired the pickup but it broke down a short distance from the residence. He then walked over to his nephew’s house but he wasn’t there so another relative agreed to drive him back to the pickup where he found a police officer there with his wife.
He admitted getting into a fight with the police officer. In a plea agreement with the federal prosecutor, Tom agreed to plead guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon in Indian Country. In the agreement, he admitted using the taser to stun the police officer.
Under the agreement, the federal prosecution agreed to make a recommendation at his sentencing for a reduction because he has accepted personal responsibility for his actions.
11 arrested for impaired driving
ALBUQUERQUE – On Saturday New Mexico State Police Officers from Grants and Gallup conducted a traffic safety operation in McKinley County, targeting impaired drivers who were under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. During the operation, officers made a total of 155 traffic stops around Gallup and adjacent areas. Of those traffic stops, 11 people were arrested on charges driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs and two other people were arrested on separate charges. Officers also issued 33 citations and assisted two people during the operation.
Injured skier rescued from Dook’olsliid
FLAGSTAFF – On Feb. 16 at approximately 6:10 p.m. the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a call about an injured skier on the north side of Fremont Peak on a path known as Telemark.
The 25-year-old male from Flagstaff had been skiing down the path and fell causing a shoulder injury, which made it impossible for him to continue to ski down.
An Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue helicopter was requested, however due to the winds in the Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks, they were not able to land to conduct the rescue. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team responded, assisted by an ambulance crew from Guardian Medical Transport.
They drove the sheriff’s snowcat to the Lockett Meadow campground in the Interior Valley. Due to the snow conditions in the area, the snowcat was not able to make it to the cabins, so a SAR team with the Guardian Medical crew hiked from the Lockett Meadow Campground to the cabins. Upon arrival at the cabins at approximately 1:30 a.m., the team prepared the patient for transport.
The patient was loaded into the snowcat at approximately 3:30 a.m. and then transported to the Lockett Meadow Road to be transferred to the ambulance for transport to the Flagstaff Medical Center.