FARMINGTON — The pregnant girlfriend of a kidnapping suspect said that a U.S. Marshal gave her a black eye and other minor injuries when he arrested her boyfriend at her Kirtland home on Friday.

Kristen Nowakowski, 21, said U.S. Marshals Service Agent Chris Spencer mistreated her when he and two other law enforcement officers arrested Mark Hinojos on Friday evening.

Spencer could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, and a U.S. Marshals Service representative in Albuquerque did not return calls for comment.

Spencer, along with a San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy and a Farmington police officer, were at Nowakowski's home to arrest Hinojos, 24, who was wanted for suspicion of kidnapping and stabbing Mark Harrison in Crouch Mesa on April 10.

Hinojos is one of four people arrested last week in connection to the kidnapping.

Nowakowski said that she, Hinojos and their two children were taking a nap in a back bedroom when she heard a knock on her door. A deputy outside asked for Hinojos.

When Nowakowski called for boyfriend, the deputy, the police officer and Spencer entered the home to make the arrest.

San Juan County Sheriff's Office Capt. Brice Current said the three officers are part of a multi-agency task force in the Four Corners region that arrests fugitives.

They were at the residence to make an arrest, not to conduct a search, so they were allowed to enter the home to arrest Hinojos once Nowakowski confirmed he was there, he said.

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The officers did find a small amount of marijuana in plain view in the back bedroom of the home, he said.

Hinojos was handcuffed and when he was being led toward the front door, he started resisting and the deputy forced him to the ground to restrain him, Current said.

When that happened, Nowakowski said Spencer twisted her arm and forced her head into the back of her couch, which gave her a black eye and scratched her arm. He also handcuffed her and threatened to arrest her and have her children placed in foster care, she said.

The deputy "was dealing with the suspect and couldn't see what happened" to Nowakowski, Current said.

Nowakowski said she had asked the officers to see a copy of their warrant. When they didn't give her one, she said she asked for their badge numbers before Spencer pinned her to a couch and handcuffed her.

"He had his hand on the back of my head and he kept pushing my head into the couch," she said.

She said that Spencer told her he was restraining her because she was cursing at the officers.

Current said the sheriff's deputy said Nowakowski was being disruptive and yelling during the arrest.

Nowakowski said Hinojos was yelling at the officers during his arrest. She admitted to yelling at Hinojos and trying to get the officers' names and badge numbers. But she said she didn't interfere with the arrest.

"I know better then to go toward a cop because I know there are consequences," she said.

Nowakowski said she was handcuffed for several minutes before Spencer released her. She wasn't charged with a crime.

After Hinojos' arrest, she drove to the San Juan Regional Medical Center emergency room for an ultrasound. She is two months pregnant, and she said her baby was fine.

After leaving the hospital, Nowakowski drove to the Farmington Police Department to speak to an officer. She said she only complained about Spencer and wasn't mistreated by the deputy or the police officer.

"The other officers were nice and didn't have any problems with me," she said. "I want (Spencer) to be charged with assault. I think the problem he had was that I was asking for names and badge numbers."

According to police records, Nowakowski spoke to a Farmington police supervisor at about 8:30 p.m. on Friday. The supervisor wrote a report on the incident and sent the report to Farmington police detectives to be investigated.

The department declined to release a copy of the report because it is still under investigation.

Farmington police Lt. Taft Tracy said just because the department took a report and is investigating the incident doesn't mean police believe Spencer committed a crime.

"We document it as best as we can to follow up on it," he said.

Nowakowski said she has contacted the U.S. Marshals Service in Albuquerque to file a complaint but has not heard back from the agency.

"I want people to know that officers think they have the authority to do this to people," she said. "It has really changed my perspective about any government officer."

 

Ryan Boetel can be reached at rboetel@daily-times.coml; 505-564-4644. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel.