Charges dismissed in high-speed chase case


January 6, 2021

A Tucumcari man accused of leading police on a high-speed chase in town in August had charges against him dismissed last week because time expired for his preliminary examination in court due to COVID-related reasons. The district attorney said charges will be refiled against him.

Anthony Martinez, 22, was charged with aggravated fleeing law enforcement, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal damage to property of over $1,000, criminal trespassing and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.

Three of the charges were fourth-degree felonies that could have led up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Tucumcari Magistrate Judge Timothy O’Quinn on Wednesday issued an order dismissing the complaint against Martinez without prejudice, meaning the complaint could be refiled later.

O’Quinn in his order stated the dismissal occurred “upon expiration of time limits for conducting a preliminary examination.”

Contacted by email, 10th Judicial District Attorney Timothy Rose said Martinez remains incarcerated in the state Department of Corrections.

“We were not able to secure his presence to attend a preliminary hearing on the previous two settings due to Covid 19 quarantine issues with Mr. Martinez and the facility where he is incarcerated,” Rose wrote. “The complaint will be refiled upon confirmation that Mr. Martinez is out of quarantine.”

According to an initial probable-cause statement filed in August by Tucumcari police officer Justin Garcia, he was staking out a motel room on East Tucumcari Boulevard as another officer was preparing a search warrant for tenant Martinez, who had an arrest warrant against him.

Garcia said Martinez saw the police vehicle, entered a Hyundai car without a license plate or temporary tag and drove east. Garcia stated he turned on his cruiser’s emergency lights, but Martinez refused to pull over.

Garcia said Martinez ran a red light at the U.S. 54 intersection and went north. Garcia said Martinez’s speed five miles northeast of Tucumcari reached about 100 mph, and he had weaved around other vehicles.

The Hyundai turned south onto Quay Road AI at a high speed and turned west onto Interstate 40, again reaching speeds of about 100 mph.

Martinez’s car exited back onto Tucumcari Boulevard, cutting off another vehicle. A Quay County sheriff’s deputy, parked on the median, tried to use stop sticks to disable Martinez’s vehicle. The Hyundai swerved left around the deputy’s car, going on the wrong side of the road.

Martinez continued on the wrong side of the road as he crossed U.S. 54. He nearly struck a vehicle at First Street.

The Hyundai turned north onto Ninth Street. Martinez jumped out of the vehicle to flee, causing the car to crash into a building, leaving a hole in the wall and damaging a pillar.

The building’s owner arrived at the scene, and officers and a police dog were let inside. They arrested Martinez in the attic and booked him into the Quay County Detention Center

Public defender Anna Aragon is listed as Martinez’s lawyer. She could not be reached for comment.


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