Man accused of biting Aztec police officer during arrest

Angel Garcia-Esparza faces 6 charges for Dec. 23 incident

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Angel Garcia-Esparza is accused of a third-degree felony count of aggravated battery upon a peace officer.
  • Lt. Joseph Gonzales deployed his stun gun at the suspect during the arrest.
  • Garcia-Esparza waived his preliminary hearing in Aztec Magistrate Court this morning.
Angel Garcia-Esparza

FARMINGTON — A man is accused of aggravated battery for allegedly biting an Aztec police officer as officers were taking him into custody.

Angel Garcia-Esparza, 26, was arrested on Dec. 23 and faces six charges, including a third-degree felony count of aggravated battery upon a peace officer and two fourth-degree felony counts of battery upon a peace officer, according to the criminal complaint.

He waived his preliminary hearing this morning in Aztec Magistrate Court, and the case was bound over to district court.

Graham Gurnee, Gracia-Esparza's public defender, declined comment.

Garcia-Esparza is accused of resisting arrest on Dec. 23 at a residence in the 300 block of North Light Plant Road in Aztec as officers served several warrants, according to court documents.

The warrants were for multiple traffic violations and several counts of resisting/evading police, according to Lt. Joseph Gonzales.

Garcia-Esparza is accused of biting Gonzales' left forearm as officers took him into custody. 

Medics on the scene examined Gonzales's arm and found the bite did not penetrate his skin, but he had heavy bruising/swelling for several days, Gonzales said. He was wearing a long-sleeve uniform shirt and two long-sleeve undershirts at the time.

A male homeowner let the officers into the residence. The homeowner started hitting a door and yelling at Garcia-Esparza to exit the room, according to court documents.

An officer pulled part of the door and Garcia-Esparza allegedly ran toward the three officers, grabbing one by the torso.

Garcia-Esparza is accused of ignoring commands to stop and put his hands behind his back. Gonzales deployed his stun gun on the suspect while he was being taken into custody.

Three pipes with marijuana residue and a small bag of marijuana were found in one of Garcia-Esparza's pants pockets during a search, according to court documents.

Garcia-Esparza was incarcerated at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center this afternoon on a no-bond hold.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at