Serving the High Plains

Standoff ends without injury

Members of the New Mexico State Police Tactical Response team coordinate with local law agencies to end a standoff on the 1400 block of South Monroe.

QCS Senior Writer

A standoff with police that lasted more than eight hours ended peacefully early Sunday at a Tucumcari residence.

Officials said two people were taken into police custody, but only one was charged with aggravated battery.

“The officers resolved the situation without shots being fired or the loss of life,” said Jason Braziel, Tucumcari’s chief of police.

Braziel said George Salaz, 37, and Regina Vargas, 34, of Tucumcari were arrested about 12:45 a.m., Sunday and booked into the Quay County Detention Center.

He said officers searching the residence on the 1400 block of South Monroe also found a man and two children whose identities are being withheld inside the house.

Braziel said police at 2:47 p.m. Saturday responded to a report of a battery at the residence.

He said when officers arrived, a woman told them she had been assaulted. The woman said the man and a woman who assaulted her were inside the home. Braziel said he did not know if the victim had been seriously injured.

Braziel said officers tried to make contact with the individuals later identified as Salaz and Vargas, who declined to exit the residence.

He said Salaz and Vargas, both Tucumcari residents, had multiple warrants for their arrest prior to the day’s incident, including contempt of court and failure to appear.

Braziel said he asked New Mexico State Police to assist because of the severity of the situation. He said the NMSP’s Tactical Response Team responded to the scene.

Several blocks surrounding the residence were blocked off for public safety, said State Police Lt. Cleo Baker.

Baker said residents inside the blockade were advised to remain in their homes as officers attempted to convince Vargas and Salaz to surrender.

Officials declined to say exactly how they convinced Salaz and Vargas to surrender, but that no injuries were reported and no weapons were found in the house.

Salaz and Vargas were booked into the Quay County Detention Center where they still remain.

Salaz was charged with aggravated battery and has a cash bond of $50,683.

Vargas was arrested for outstanding warrants and has a cash bond of $60,000