Police identify alleged swimming shoplifter

The Daily Times staff
Joshua Gonzales

FARMINGTON — A 29-year-old local resident is sought on allegations he shoplifted from a Farmington store and then nearly struck an officer as he fled the scene.

Joshua Gonzales was charged Monday in Farmington Magistrate Court with aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer and shoplifting.

Farmington police spokeswoman Georgette Allen said Tuesday police continued to seek Gonzales on a $15,000 cash-only warrant.

Farmington police allege Gonzales stole about $500 in tools from The Home Depot at 3560 E. Main St. and then stashed the items in a nearby refuse bin, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. An officer attempted to stop Gonzales when he returned to recover the items, according to the affidavit, but Gonzales sped off in his vehicle, nearly striking the officer.

Gonzales then abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot toward the Animas River, where police established a perimeter. Police at one point had the man trapped on an island in the middle of the river, according to police dispatchers, but he managed to escape.

Anyone with information on Gonzales' whereabouts can contact San Juan County Crime Stoppers at 505-334-TIPS.