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.

PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police to conduct DWI checkpoints in September

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Farmington, N.M. – Many Farmington police officers will be out throughout the month of September participating in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. This will include sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols, beginning Labor Day weekend. Across the United States during the 2017 Labor Day Holiday 376 people were killed in crashes and 36% of those involved a drunk driver. The Farmington Police Department, in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, continues to work hard to keep drunk drivers off our roads. As always, FPD wants to remind citizens to drink responsibly and always use a designated driver.

PRESS RELEASE: Farmington man arrested for kidnapping, criminal sexual penetration

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Farmington, N.M. – Farmington police today arrested Samson Blue, 50 of San Juan County, on charges of kidnapping and criminal sexual penetration. The charges stem from an ongoing investigation that began in June of this year when Blue took the victim to Walmart where she was able to make contact with employees and asked them for help. The employees took the victim to a safe location and contacted police. Detectives investigating the incident obtained a warrant for Blue’s arrest. Officers served the warrant at the San Juan County Detention Center where Blue is being held on unrelated charges.

PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police arrest man after 11-hour standoff

 

Farmington, N.M. – Farmington police arrested Dylane Jim, 27 of Farmington, yesterday after an 11-hour standoff at an apartment building in the 2000 block of North Tucker off East 20th Street. Jim was charged with aggravated assault on a household member, false imprisonment, and aggravated battery against a household member. Jim physically fought with his girlfriend in the second story apartment, threatening her by pointing a gun at her head.

The victim called 9-1-1, and officers responded around 11:50 a.m. The victim was yelling for help from the second story apartment window when officers arrived. They were able to get a ladder to the window, and the victim exited the apartment safely. Farmington Fire Department and EMS treated the victim on scene for her injuries. Officers learned that Jim was armed and barricading the door to the apartment. FPD negotiators and SWAT arrived, and the adjacent apartments were evacuated. Negotiators attempted to make contact with Jim for several hours, using various methods to try to reach a peaceful resolution. After negotiation attempts failed, the SWAT and bomb teams breached the apartment door, entered the apartment and detained Jim without injury around 11:10 p.m.

Throughout the standoff, the Farmington community was very supportive, and FPD would like to thank them. St. Mary’s Church provided shelter to those displaced from their home due to this incident. Farmington Municipal School staff stayed late to keep children from evacuated homes, until a parent or guardian could pick them up. McDonalds and Domino’s donated food and drinks to the officers on scene and to those who were evacuated from their homes. San Juan County Office of Emergency Management and American Red Cross also provided assistance to evacuees.