Off-Duty Tucumcari police officer charged with breaking and entering

QCS Staff

An off-duty Tucumcari police officer charged with breaking and entering and criminal damage to property surrendered Monday to New Mexico State Police in Tucumcari, said State Police Lt. Lance Bateman.

Bateman said Pete Vargas, 32, was taken into custody at 1:30 p.m. at the Quay County Magistrate Court.

Bateman said Vargas was processed at the State Police Office and released on a $10,000 appearance bond.

Tucumcari Chief Jason Braziel said Vargas has worked for the department for 3 1/2 years. He said the department is determining how to proceed on this matter. He said at this time Vargas is using vacation time he has accrued.

According to Bateman:

• at 3:50 a.m. Sunday state police were dispatched to 1805 S. Sixth St. in Tucumcari in reference to a male subject that had broken into a residence.

• Tucumcari Police officer was already on scene and had requested state police investigate the incident upon learning the subject in question was an off-duty Tucumcari Police officer.

• Vargas and the owner of the residence, Roseann Quintana have had a continuing intimate relationship.

• A warrant was issued for Vargas’ arrest on Sunday for one count of breaking and entering, (a fourth-degree felony) and criminal damage to property (misdemeanor).

Attempts to contact Vargas have been unsuccessful.

According to a affidavit by state police officer Mark Jackson:

• At approximately 3:50 a.m. he was notified by state police dispatch of an incident at 1805 S. Sixth St. in Tucumcari.

• on arrival at 4:20 a.m., he met with Tucumcari police officer Clay Cullison, who told him he was patrolling the area and at 3:10 a.m., he observed Vargas driving by the residence in question and stopped to speak with him (Vargas).

• Cullison said Vargas’ demeanor was very agitated, and avoided answering questions. He (Vargas) said, “I am just driving around).

• Cullison said at 3:15 a.m. he observed Quintana walking on 1700 block of South Sixth Street. Cullison said he asked Quintana if she and Vargas had been fighting. She (Quintana) replied, “She was OK.”

• Cullison said at 3:25 a.m. he was dispatched to 1805 S. Sixth St. for a call of breaking and entering. Quintana told him Vargas had broken into her house, damaging her front door. Cullison contacted State Police.

Jackson said he spoke with two juvenile witnesses at 8:10 a.m., one of which identified Vargas as the person who kicked in the door.