Courtesy of San Juan County Adult Detention Center
Courtesy of San Juan County Adult Detention Center (null)

FARMINGTON — A suspected drunken driver ran over a law enforcement officer's leg on Saturday night.

It's the second time this month a driver attempted to strike an officer with a vehicle to avoid arrest in Farmington. Neither of the officers were injured.

Cole Blevins, a ranger with the Farmington field office of the Bureau of Land Management, approached a group of young adults drinking alcohol near Pi on Hills Boulevard and Glade Road at 11:30 p.m. Saturday, according to court documents.

Blevins told San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputies that Farmington resident Charles Palmer, 21, ignored a command to stop and walked to his truck and got in. Palmer allegedly started the vehicle, and Blevins grabbed onto him from outside, according to court documents.

Blevins said he was hanging onto Palmer as Palmer started to drive away. A woman in the car was yelling at Blevins and trying to get him to let go, according to court documents.

When Blevins let go, his left leg was run over by the truck, according to court documents. His leg was on soft dirt when it was run over, and he wasn't hurt, according to the documents.

Blevins got back into his vehicle and pursued Palmer to the end of Foothills Drive and then west before he lost sight of the vehicle.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Beth Utley said sheriff's deputies and Farmington police officers found Palmer's vehicle in the Glade Run Recreation area early Sunday morning and secured a perimeter around the vehicle.

Palmer and the woman inside were located and taken into custody.

The sheriff's office arrested Palmer on suspicion of DWI, his second offense, Utley said. No charges have been filed against the woman.

The BLM is still investigating Saturday's incident and has not decided if it will file federal charges against Palmer for running over a ranger.

Jeff Miller, the chief ranger for the BLM in New Mexico, said BLM rangers can bring charges against suspects in federal court. There are two rangers in Farmington.

On May 13, Farmington police said Harley Bassett, 18, struck Officer Justin Nichols with Bassett's pickup truck in Farmington's Berg Park parking lot.

Bassett was arrested the next day.

Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and rboetel@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel