Suspect had three active warrants at time of arrest

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FARMINGTON — A Nageezi man is accused of battering a woman, holding a knife to her throat, choking her and stealing her SUV from a gas station south of Bloomfield.

Hardy Yazzie, 34, faces seven charges, including two third-degree felony counts of aggravated battery and one count of bribery of a witness, along with a fourth-degree felony count of vehicle theft, according to court records.

The alleged victim told police Yazzie punched her in the chest, back, arms, legs and face while they were driving, according to court documents. Yazzie also allegedly held a knife to her throat, where two small cuts were found. She also told police Yazzie wrapped both his hands around her throat and cut off her air supply.

Ruth Wilson, Yazzie's public defender, did not respond to requests for comment.

Yazzie was charged in connection with the case on July 18.

He was arrested by the Bloomfield Police Department around 4:40 p.m. on Dec. 24 after he turned himself in at the Farmers Market grocery store, according to administrative supervisor Suzanne Moore.

A New Mexico State Police officer responded around 3:11 p.m. on July 16 to a domestic violence altercation at the Giant Gas Station at 13921 U.S. Highway 550, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

The officer was advised by a dispatcher that a male later identified as Yazzie was possibly intoxicated, and the alleged victim had locked herself in the restroom with a child. The child was later returned to its legal guardian.

Yazzie was allegedly in a gold SUV belonging to the alleged victim parked on the south side of the gas station. The suspect allegedly looked at the officer when he arrived at the scene, then drove southbound onto County Road 7150.

The officer found the alleged victim seizing on the floor when he entered the gas station. He requested emergency medical help at the scene. The ambulance arrived, then took the unresponsive victim to the San Juan Regional Medical Center.

An employee called 911 after the alleged victim said Yazzie had threatened to kill her, according to court documents.

The gold SUV allegedly driven by Yazzie briefly returned to the gas station and left again as officers attempted to approach the vehicle. Police discontinued their pursuit as Yazzie allegedly drove at a high speed and ran vehicles off the roadway.

Yazzie was incarcerated Friday at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on a no-bond hold. He had three active warrants, including the July case, when he was arrested, along with a pending case in Aztec District Court, according to court records.

His preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday morning 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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