Farmington school resource officer no longer with department following use of force investigation, lapel footage released

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Farmington, N.M. – The Farmington Police Department today announces a school resource officer is no longer employed with the department following an investigation into a use of force incident at Mesa View Middle School. The incident took place on August 27, 2019 when school officials requested Officer Zach Christensen assist them in addressing a disruptive student. Christensen was the school resource officer assigned to Mesa View Middle School. A sergeant with FPD’s Professional Standards Division was viewing Christensen’s lapel camera video footage as part of a routine internal review process. He saw what he believed to be a use of force violation against an 11-year-old female student and opened an internal affairs investigation. Officer Christensen was immediately placed on administrative leave per FPD policy. Additionally, the case was referred to the New Mexico State Police for possible criminal charges.

 

Chief Steve Hebbe issued the following written statement regarding the incident and a more detailed video message to our community, “When we fall short of our expectations and standards, we hold ourselves accountable. Like many of you, I was shocked and angry when I watched this video.  We value our relationship with our community and will continue to work hard to maintain the public’s confidence in our department.”

 

The officer’s lapel camera footage has been released to the news media and has been uploaded to FPD’s YouTube channel. The video may be viewed at https://youtu.be/SdiC4WzGyq8

 

Man involved in shooting identified

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Farmington, N.M. – Farmington police have identified the man involved in the incident that took place in northeast Farmington last night as Norbert Beyet, 58 of Farmington. At 6:12 p.m. dispatch received a call of a domestic fight at a residence in the 2800 block of Rio Vista Ct. The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, Air One, and Farmington Police officers responded to the incident, that ultimately resulted in shots being fired. Beyet was pronounced deceased at the scene. A revolver type handgun was recovered from the scene and FPD detectives, SJCSO detectives, and New Mexico State Police personnel are working jointly to investigate the incident. No officers were injured. This is an active investigation and anyone with information is asked to call the SJCSO at 505-334-6107. Further details will be released as available.

Farmington police investigate shooting

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Farmington, N.M. – At 6:12 p.m. dispatch received a 911 call reporting a man threatening people with a gun in the 2800 block of Rio Vista Ct. Farmington Police officers and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Air One responded to the area. Air One had visual of the situation and updated FPD officers as they arrived on scene. FPD officers reported being confronted with a weapon. When the weapon was pointed at the officers, one officer fired. No officers were injured in the incident. The male subject was pronounced dead at the scene. FPD detectives, SJCSO detectives, and New Mexico State Police personnel are working together to investigate the incident. This investigation is still active, further information will be provided as available. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office at 505-334-6107.

Additional information on stabbing released

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Farmington, N.M. – Farmington police are still investigating a fatal stabbing that occurred on September 26, 2019. Two men were transported to the hospital, each with a single stab wound. Fidel Gonzales, 42 of Farmington, was pronounced dead at the emergency room. The other injured 23 year old man was treated at San Juan Regional Medical Center and released the following day.

Officers responded to the report of a stabbing in the area of the 1000 block of Glade Lane around 1:42 a.m. on September 26. As officers arrived on scene, there were several subjects involved in an active fight. Officers detained one of the men, and immediately rendered aid to the two injured men before they were transported to the emergency room. Detectives are still working through a large amount of evidence, and no charges have been filed yet.

This incident is still under investigation. Further details will be released as they become available.

Farmington police recover body from Animas River

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Farmington, N.M. – Farmington detectives are investigating the details surrounding the death of Carlos Atencio, 22 of Farmington, whose body was recovered from the Animas River yesterday.  Officers responded to the area of the bridge near the 800 block of Broadway Blvd for reports of a man in the water around 7:15 a.m. Officers found Atencio deceased underneath the bridge. This incident is still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the detective tip line at 505-599-1068, or San Juan County Crime Stoppers at 505-334-TIPS. Further details will be released as they become available.

Farmington police have one man in custody following stabbing

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Farmington, N.M. – Farmington police have one man in custody following a stabbing last night on Glade Lane. Reports of a stabbing came in through dispatch around 1:42 a.m. As officers arrived on scene, there were several subjects involved in an active fight. Officers detained one of the subjects and immediately rendered aid to the two injured subjects, who were both transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center. One of the subjects died at the emergency room, the second is still being treated at SJRMC. More details will be released following the investigation.

PRESS RELEASE: Body found in Arizona confirmed to be missing New Mexico man

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Farmington, N.M. – The body of missing New Mexico man, Craig Cavanaugh, 44 of Farmington, was identified today in Coconino County, Arizona. Farmington police detectives have been working closely with both Coconino and Navajo County in their search for Craig since he went missing in early July.  Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Navajo County Sheriff’s Office are now taking over this case, as a death investigation. There have been two suspects identified in this case, and it is still an active investigation.

 

Cavanaugh was last seen in Farmington on July 4, 2019. He was headed to Peoria, Arizona for a job but never arrived. Cavanaugh’s phone was last pinged in Payson, Arizona and a witness stated they saw him in Payson, but no other evidence supported that statement. Cavanaugh’s credit cards were used by two males in Payson, Glendale, and Peoria between July 5 and July 7, 2019. Cavanaugh’s 2012 Toyota Tacoma truck was recovered on July 12, 2019. The males using the credit cards were identified by Farmington detectives working with Arizona law enforcement agencies. Craig Cavanaugh’s body was located by Navajo County and Coconino County deputies.

 

Coconino County Sheriff’s Office will be the contact agency for any further tips or information regarding this case. They can be contacted at 928-774-4523.