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Police Blotter: Police officer wrestles uncooperative driver


An Iyanbito, New Mexico, man is facing a possible eight-year sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty Oct. 1 to assaulting an Isleta Pueblo policewoman several times after being arrested earlier that day for drunken driving. Jarvis Delgarito, 22, is currently held by the U.S. marshal’s office n Albuquerque pending formal sentencing at a later date.

According to court records, Isleta Pueblo Police Sgt. Crystal Abeita was dispatched on Feb. 21 to the area of milepost 203 on Interstate 40 in connection with an individual trying to flag down a police vehicle.

When she got to the site, she found Delgarito standing next to his vehicle, which had heavy damage to the right side passenger door. Delgarito said he had been sideswiped.

While investigating Delgarito’s claim, Abeita said she noticed Delgariyo’s words were slurred and arrested him for DWI after he failed a standard field sobriety test. Abeita then took him to the pueblo’s police station for booking.

Up until then he had been cooperative but once they started booking him, said Abeita, he became combative. He was placed on a bench with his hands cuffed behind him. Abeita said she placed her video lapel cam nearby so she could watch him.

After a couple of minutes, Abeita said Delgarito stood up and grabbed the lapel cam, requiring her to forcibly take it back. She placed him back in the bench and a couple of minutes later, he made another attempt to grab the lapel cam. Abeita stopped him and told him he was being placed on another bench.

Delgarito refused to stand up and as she was attempting to get him up, Abeita said he head-butted her twice. She said she pushed him back on the bench and he seemed to calm down so there was no attempt to handcuff him to the bench. A couple of minutes later, she said Delgarito stool up and rushed her. She managed to push him back onto the bench but during the struggle he grabbed her police certification card.

He refused to give it back and Abeita again struggled with him to get the card back during which she claimed Delgarito kicked her several times in the right thigh. When Delgarito continued to refuse to cooperate, she said she was forced to use her chemical spray on him.

He sat back down on the bench but then spit in her face. She then retrieved a head cover with a spit guard and placed it on his head to prevent him from spitting at her again. But her problems with Delgarito weren’t over yet.

A few minutes later, she and another officer attempted to move Delgarito to another bench, during which he managed to grab her crotch area, causing her to jump back. As she was trying to gain control again, she said Delgarito turned around and grabbed her hands, digging his fingernails into her fingers, causing her pain. After this, she said, Delgarito calmed down and was transported to the Valencia County Detention Center without incident. No formal sentencing date has been set.

About The Author

Bill Donovan

Bill Donovan has been writing about the Navajo Nation government since 1971 and for the Navajo Times since 1976. He is currently semi-retired and is living in Torrance, California, and continues to report for the Navajo Times.


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