LAS CRUCES, NM – Police in Las Cruces are looking for a suspect who was confronted and tased at a local Sonic drive-through. After being tased, the suspect in the car drove off, running over a police officer. Police then fired shots at the vehicle.
A #LasCruces officer was injured during a welfare check at a Sonic restaurant. This is a video of when the suspect fled and shots can be heard (credit: Anonymous) STORY: https://t.co/TSilWDsLaf pic.twitter.com/B9nZ0oXdmB
— CBS4Local (@CBS4Local) February 16, 2021
The Las Cruces Police Department reports:
Law enforcement personnel are continuing to look for the 40-year-old man believed to be responsible for Monday’s incident that injured a Las Cruces police officer and sparked an investigation that led well into the evening.
Mark James Esquibel, whose last known address was on the 5100 block of Central Road in Las Cruces, is believed to be the driver who refused to cooperate with officers at the Sonic Drive-In, at 2925 N. Main St., and then struck a Las Cruces police officer as he drove away from the scene.
Esquibel, 40, is Hispanic, 6-feet tall and weighs approximately 195 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Esquibel has a warrant for his arrest for violating terms of his probation.
Sometime before 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15, Las Cruces police were dispatched to conduct a welfare check on an individual who was parked in a stall at the Sonic restaurant. Officers made contact with the driver, identified as Esquibel, and determined there was probable cause to take him into custody.
Preliminary information from the investigation indicates Esquibel was uncooperative with officers and refused to exit his vehicle. Officers utilized a Taser on Esquibel but that was ineffective. Shortly after the Taser was deployed, Esquibel put the vehicle into drive and accelerated from the stall striking a Las Cruces police officer.
Investigators believe at least one round was fired during the incident. Esquibel fled west on Main Street and his vehicle was located a short time later near the intersection of Winton Circle and Neleigh Drive. Police learned someone gave Esquibel a ride from there. His whereabouts are still unknown.
The injured Las Cruces police officer was transported to Mountainview Regional Medical Center. His injuries are considered serious but not life-threatening.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts on Mark James Esquibel is asked to immediately call 911. Anyone known to harbor or provide aid to a wanted individual could face criminal charges.