Police: Man jumps cliff in car to flee arrest

The Daily Times staff

FARMINGTON – A Bernalillo man was arrested Friday on suspicion he led police on a high-speed chase through east Farmington, according to a press release.

Dispatch received reports Friday afternoon that a red pickup truck was headed west on U.S. Highway 64 toward Farmington at a high rate of speed, the release states.

A Farmington police sergeant caught up to the suspect vehicle and reported it was passing other motorists on the road's shoulder and traveling at 90 mph, according to the release.

Police shut down the intersection of Apache and Main streets in Farmington in an attempt to stop the vehicle, but it avoided the road closure and continued east on Main Street, the release states.

Farmington police officers pursued the vehicle as it weaved through several side roads before turning south down the dead end of Gooding Lane, according to the release.

The vehicle hit the end of the road and continued forward. The vehicle jumped a 74-foot embankment and landed in an irrigation ditch on a farm, the release states.

The vehicle was disabled, and the driver, later identified as 20-year-old Richard Lovato, fled on foot, but he was arrested within five minutes, the release states.

Lovato has been charged with aggravated fleeing, possession of a stolen vehicle, resisting and obstructing, criminal damage to property, drunken driving (first offense), among other offenses, according to the release.