PRESS RELEASE: Homicide suspect arrested

Farmington, NM – Farmington police arrested 24-year-old Raheem Benally of Farmington in connection with a homicide that took place yesterday. Officers were dispatched around 6:19 last night to Brothers Avenue in reference to a man, later identified as 37-year-old Philbert Vanwinkle of Farmington, lying in the road. The reporting party informed dispatch the man was bleeding and didn’t appear to be breathing. Officers arrived on scene and found Vanwinkle to be deceased with apparent multiple stab wounds. Two persons of interest were initially detained for questioning and then released. Benally was later identified as the suspect and a warrant was issued for his arrest on charges of second degree murder and tampering with evidence. Detectives learned he was in the Shiprock area and obtained an extradition warrant approved by the Navajo Nation. Farmington police took Benally into custody without incident around 7:00 this evening. He was transported to the San Juan County Detention Center where he was booked on the warrant.

The Farmington Police Department would like to thank the Navajo Police Department and Navajo Nation prosecutors for their assistance.

PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police investigating homicide

Farmington, NM – Farmington police were dispatched around 6:19 this evening to Brothers Avenue in reference to a man laying in the road. The reporting party informed dispatch the man was bleeding and didn’t appear to be breathing. Officers arrived on scene and found the man to be deceased. Two persons of interest who were in the area have been detained for questioning. The incident is being investigated as a homicide. We’ll continue to provide updates as they become available.

PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police to host annual Christmas food drive

FPD Christmas Food Drive 2018Farmington, NM – The Farmington Police Department will host their annual Christmas food drive on December 15 and 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Albertsons in Farmington. They’ll be accepting monetary and non-perishable food donations as well as turkeys and hams. The department has hosted the drive for over 12 years. Farmington police Lieutenant Matt Veith has been organizing the event since 2006 and expressed his appreciation for the community’s generosity, “This event has been a success year after year because of the wonderful people of San Juan County. We see people from all walks of life coming in to donate; some who are experiencing struggles of their own. That speaks volumes of the individuals who comprise our community.”

Donations will be distributed on Monday, December 17 to Catholics Charities, the Children Youth and Families Department’s Juvenile Services, Navajo Ministries, PATH Homeless Shelter and the Family Crisis Center Emergency Shelter.

PRESS RELEASE: Farmington police investigating early morning stabbing

Farmington, NM – Farmington police have issued a warrant for 24-year-old Ryan Lowe following an incident that occurred early this morning. Officers were dispatched around 3:25 a.m. to the Coronado Apartments in reference to a stabbing. Officers arrived on scene and found a 30-year-old female with a laceration to her neck. The female was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center with multiple puncture wounds to her back, a laceration to her neck and a partially severed finger. Through investigation, officers identified Lowe as the suspect and learned he is an acquaintance who occasionally stays at the apartment. A warrant was issued for his arrest on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence. The incident remains under investigation at this time. The female remains at SJRMC in stable condition. Anyone with information on Lowe’s whereabouts may call non-emergency dispatch at 334-6622.


City employees recognized for saving man’s life


Recognitions presented by Police Chief Steve Hebbe, Electric Utility Director Hank Adair, Mayor Nate Duckett, Fire Chief Dave Burke & City of Farmington Employee Council President Joanna Oliver

Tonight, we’d like to recognize several individuals who demonstrated exemplary performance, not only in their work duties, but in their duties as fellow citizens. When most of us hear the word humanitarian, we think of someone who actively engages in promoting human welfare and social reforms in a global capacity. Their goal is to save lives, relieve suffering and maintain human dignity. But a humanitarian can be one person whose single act accomplishes those very same goals, which is exactly what Officer David King and City of Farmington Electric Utility linemen, Dave Elder and Jacob Snowbarger, did.
On Tuesday, November 6, Officer King was flagged down by a construction worker near the Auto Zone at Broadway and Lake Street after a vehicle crashed into the side of the business. The officer made contact with the driver, a 70-year-old man from Cortez, Colo., and recognized he was in need of emergency assistance.
Officer King and Mr. Elder pulled the driver from the vehicle. Officer King began administering CPR to the driver and asked one of the linemen to get his radio so he could request assistance for the male who was in cardiac arrest. One of the linemen retrieved the officer’s radio and another brought his AED from his work truck. The officer radioed for additional assistance while the linemen took over chest compressions and applied the AED. Through their professional course of actions, CPR was continued seamlessly and two shocks were delivered to the patient prior to the fire department arriving on scene. Once fire and EMS personnel arrived, Mr. Elder and Mr. Snowbarger remained in the immediate area ready to assist and delivered a thorough briefing of events. They remained on scene until the patient, with a pulse, was transported to the hospital.
It is apparent that the swift actions of Officer King, Mr. Elder and Mr. Snowbarger greatly contributed to a positive outcome for the gentleman, who has since been discharged from the hospital and returned home.

Safety Tips for Holiday Shopping

Closeup of woman holding shopping bags on the street with copy spaceThe Farmington Police Department wants to remind citizens, that during all the hectic holiday hustle and bustle, it’s important to slow down and be aware of your surroundings. Help reduce your chances of falling victim to a crime by taking safety precautions when shopping:

~Stay alert to your surroundings. Don’t let your guard down while taking a phone call or answering a text message.

~Shop during daylight hours when possible. When shopping at night, take someone with you, park in a well-lit area and as close as possible to the store.

~Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Keep small amounts of cash in your front pocket.

~Only carry the credit/debit card that you will be using to shop.

~Avoid overloading yourself with packages.

~Do not place your purse in the shopping cart; keep it on your person and maintain a secure hold at all times.

~Do not leave packages in your vehicle; lock them in the trunk or take them home immediately if possible.

~Do not lock packages in the trunk and then go back into the same store; change shopping locations.

~Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the surrounding area and back seat before getting in.

~Do not approach your vehicle alone if there are suspicious people in the area.

~Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason. During this time of year, “con-artists” may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.

While practicing these safety tips can help minimize the risk of falling victim to predators, there is no absolute guarantee to safeguard against a determined criminal. If you find yourself victim of a crime, report it immediately.


PRESS RELEASE: Suspect in Brookside shooting arrested

Farmington, NM – A suspect in the shooting that occurred October 26 at Brookside Park was arrested over the weekend. A warrant was issued Friday for 18-year-old D’Jali Smith of Farmington on charges of two counts aggravated battery great bodily harm and two counts aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Smith was arrested on Sunday in Colorado by Cortez police. Details about the case are not being released at this time as the investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident should call the Farmington Police Department Detective Tip Hotline at 599-1068.