Jack Arnold
Jack Arnold (Courtesy of San Juan County Adult Detention Center)

FARMINGTON — A San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy on Wednesday drew his weapon on several members of the family that owns and operates Wines of the San Juan.

A vineyard manager allegedly got into a car chase with his wife and another man, crashed the vehicles and chased the man with a pocket knife.

Jack Arnold, 47, was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of two counts of aggravated battery, aggravated assault, resisting an officer, leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report a car crash.

David and Marcia Arnold opened Wines of the San Juan in Turley in 2002, and the Arnold family runs the business. Jack Arnold maintains the vineyard.

According to the sheriff's office, Arnold was driving a green Volkeswagon Beetle to Navajo Lake State Park on Wednesday afternoon to surprise his wife, Alex Arnold, who was swimming there. As he was driving up to the marina, he saw his wife leave in her white pickup truck. Henry Espinoza was driving the truck, and Alex Arnold was a passenger, according to court documents.

"Another man was driving his wife's truck," said Deputy Gary Mauldin. "He was pretty upset with who was in the truck and what they were doing there."

Arnold allegedly started chasing the truck. He pulled alongside it and swerved in front of it several times, according to court documents.

The vehicles collided into each other several times during the chase. No one was seriously injured as a result of the pursuit.

Mauldin said the chase lasted for more than 19 miles through Navajo Dam until a collision sent the Beetle and Jack Arnold into a ditch on N.M. Highway 511, about seven miles from Wines of the San Juan, according to court documents.

After the crash, Jack Arnold allegedly pulled out a Leatherman pocket knife and chased after Espinoza. Espinoza and a witness told investigators that Jack Arnold lunged at him with the knife but never hurt him, according to court documents.

Then Jack Arnold got into the white pickup truck and drove it toward the winery.

Mauldin was the first deputy to arrive in the area. He was dispatched shortly before 4 p.m. when the crash was reported.

On his way to the crash scene, he saw Jack Arnold driving past him, and Mauldin turned around and pursued him.

Mauldin said Jack Arnold ignored him and continued driving for several miles before he turned into the winery and drove to the residence that also doubles as the storefront to purchase wine.

Mauldin said Jack Arnold tried to walk inside the home and several other adults and family members came out of the house and prevented him from talking to Jack Arnold. At one point, Mauldin handcuffed David Arnold, the proprietor of the winery, because he kept interfering with the investigation. David Arnold was not charged with a crime.

Mauldin said the tense situation eventually calmed down, and he arrested Jack Arnold.

"Once he was in handcuffs, he settled down," Mauldin said. "He had a moment. ... You never know how you would react in that situation."

A message left at Wines of the San Juan was not returned by press time.

Jack Arnold has no criminal history. His preliminary hearing is Sept. 26.

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 on Twitter.