FARMINGTON — Farmington police say a man in a white Chevrolet pickup truck tried to run down a Farmington police officer at Berg Park on Monday afternoon.
The officer was able to get off his bicycle just as a pickup truck crashed into it and then fled the scene.
Officer Justin Nichols, a bicycle officer, was patrolling in Berg Park shortly before 3 p.m. when he saw a young man and a woman in a parked pickup truck who he suspected were smoking marijuana, Farmington police Cpl. Guy Postlewait said.
As Nichols approached the truck, it drove directly at him. Nichols was clipped into his pedals and dismounted just as the front of the truck ran into the front bicycle tire, badly damaging the bicycle.
Nichols did not suffer serious injuries, Farmington police Lt. Taft Tracy said.
The hit and run crash happened in the Berg Park parking lot near the park's entrance at San Juan Boulevard.
The truck fled onto San Juan Boulevard and officers from Farmington police and other local law enforcement agencies started searching for the suspects.
The San Juan County Sheriff's Office helicopter started circling the area shortly after the crash was reported.
The suspect's vehicle was found about an hour after the crash at Ricketts Park. No one was in the vehicle, Postlewait said.
He said the truck was registered to Harley Bassett, an 18-year-old Aztec man.
Police are searching the area near where the truck was found.
Ryan Boetel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4644. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel.