Suspect allegedly found intoxicated and asleep in running vehicle

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FARMINGTON — A Farmington man is accused of being intoxicated and striking another man with a vehicle after the victim allegedly punched the suspect in the face.

Robert Fernandez, 46, is accused of nine charges including a third-degree felony count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a fourth-degree felony count of DWI along with misdemeanor counts of leaving the scene of an accident and resisting an officer, according to court documents.

Fernandez is accused of being intoxicated when he struck an unidentified male with a gray Ford passenger car and left the scene, according to the probable cause statement.

Officers for the Farmington Police Department were dispatched around 1:41 p.m. on May 26 to the 2000 block of Troy King Road on reports of a possible hit and run suspect who might be under the influence of alcohol.

Two witnesses at the scene stated they saw an incident between a vehicle and a male subject. One of them had a video recording of the alleged incident, which they showed the officer.

The officer wrote in the probable cause statement the video showed a man being struck by the car's front, left-side bumper. He rolled off the hood.

The victim then rolled on the ground and attempted to stand up but fell back down, according to court documents.

The officers searched the area and did not locate the victim, described as a Native American male weighing about 300 pounds. The estimated he is five-feet, five-inches tall and said he was wearing a black shirt and gray pants.

Farmington police have not identified or located the suspect, according to police spokesperson Georgette Allen.

Officers were given a possible location for the suspect and found the man later identified as Fernandez sleeping in a gray Ford passenger car in front of a residence.

The vehicle was still running and the officer observed Fernandez's hand on the steering wheel.  

The officer turned off the vehicle and woke up Fernandez.

The officer observed the suspect had bloodshot, watery eyes and his speech was very slurry, according to court documents.

Fernandez declined to perform a sobriety and breathalyzer tests and claimed he was not driving but in the vehicle consuming alcoholic beverages and listening to music.

An open can of an alcoholic beverage along with five empty 200 milliliter bottles of rum were found in the vehicle.

While at San Juan Regional Medical Center, Fernandez told police the victim punched him in the face and that he put the vehicle into reverse and attempted to run over the victim with the vehicle.  

He was released from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on a court order.

His preliminary hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday in Farmington Magistrate Court.

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

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