LA Police & SF Sheriff In High Speed Chase

by Staff Reporter / Jul 14, 2017 / comments

LA Police & SF Sheriff In High Speed Chase

By MAIRE O'NEILL

Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos Police and Santa Fe Sheriff’s Deputies were involved in a high speed pursuit Thursday afternoon, which ended in a Colorado man being apprehended in Nambe. Carl Johann Black, 37, of Colorado Springs faces several charges in connection with the chase.

It began around 1:45 p.m. when LAPD Dispatch notified Los Alamos Police Cpl. David Boe of a possible reckless driver in a silver mini-van traveling along Diamond Drive. Boe was unable to locate the vehicle, however, Dispatch continued to receive 911 reports indicating that the vehicle was traveling near Diamond and Canyon in a dangerous manner.

At around 2:10 p.m., Dispatch received a call from Los Alamos National Laboratory security officers indicating that the 2005 Kia Sedona had gone through the Lab guard post without stopping and was heading east on East Jemez Road. Cpl. Gabriel Nieto had been sent to that area and observed the vehicle driving in the westbound lane heading east while there were other vehicles heading in both directions. He initiated his emergency equipment to conduct a traffic stop and was eventually able to get behind the vehicle.

Nieto followed the vehicle, which was driving 75 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone. Nieto’s report states he initiated a pursuit because the driver posed a clear and immediate threat of death or serious injury to other drivers on the roadway.

“While behind the vehicle I observed it to be driving in the center of the east and westbound lanes at times almost making contact with other vehicles in both directions,” his report states. “While behind the vehicle I saw the driver look at his rearview mirror and hit it sideways so he would not see my vehicle.”

The driver continued toward the intersection of N.M. 4 and East Jemez Road and drove through a red light with no regard for other drivers at the intersection heading north and south. The vehicle proceeded north on N.M. 4 driving more than 55 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone, heading toward Santa Fe and Nieto observed the driver passing multiple cars driving onto the oncoming lane and shoulder.

At this point Dispatch notified Nieto that the vehicle had been stolen in Colorado and Sgt. Monica Salazar positioned her patrol vehicle behind Nieto. As both patrol cars passed the twin tanks on N.M. 502, the two officers were advised by Cmdr. Preston Ballew to discontinue the pursuit. They both turned off their lights and sirens and followed the vehicle at the posted speed limit in case it struck another vehicle. Nieto’s report states he observed the vehicle near the Totavi Gas Station driving eastward in the westbound lane in the median at speeds higher than 65 miles per hour.

Once it had been determined that the vehicle proceeded toward Pojoaque, Nieto stopped his pursuit. Near Pojoaque High School, Salazar’s report said she passed a Santa Fe Sheriff’s Deputy driving in the opposite direction with lights and sirens running so she flashed her lights at the Deputy and told her the vehicle has gone by her. Salazar then returned Los Alamos.

When Nieto contacted Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office, he found out they located the driver in the vehicle in an arroyo in Nambe where he was taken into custody. Black was uninjured and there was no damage to the vehicle.

LAPD Cmdr. Preston Ballew spoke with the Los Alamos Daily Post about the incident. “The department handled everything properly and thankfully no citizens were injured,” Ballew said.