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Suspect failed to appear for Jan. 16 court hearing

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FARMINGTON — A Bloomfield man accused of failing to appear in court on charges stemming from a fatal DWI vehicle crash has been arrested for allegedly breaking into a pickup truck and punching a paramedic in the face.

Aaron Yazzie, 46, faces fourth-degree felony counts of breaking and entering, and battery upon a health care worker, as well as a petty misdemeanor count of an open container, according to court records.

He is accused of breaking into a Ford pickup truck at the Los Hermanitos restaurant at 2400 W. Main St. and of punching a paramedic who was checking Yazzie's vital signs, according to the probable cause statement.

John Beckstead, Yazzie's contract public defender, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Yazzie is one of two people accused of killing a 6-year-old boy along with causing great bodily harm to 9-year-old and 6-year-old girls during a Feb. 24 vehicle crash a half-mile west of U.S. Highway 550 on County Road 7150, according to The Daily Times archives.

Candace Jim, 41, of Farmington, and Yazzie are accused of three first-degree felony counts of child abuse, along with a third-degree felony count of great bodily harm by vehicle, according to court documents.

Yazzie was arrested on Dec. 29 in connection with the vehicle crash case and was released on his own recognizance following a Dec. 31 court hearing, according to court records.

He failed to appear at a Jan. 16 hearing in Farmington Magistrate Court, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

For his most recent criminal case, officers for the Farmington Police Department were dispatched around 12:23 p.m. on Jan. 26 to Los Hermanitos on reports of a highly intoxicated male sitting inside a vehicle that did not belong to him.

While police were en route, witnesses observed Yazzie begin to convulse and seize, according to court documents. Yazzie was found by officers in the driver's seat of a tan Ford pickup truck in the parking lot.

Medical personnel arrived on the scene to check on Yazzie. As the paramedics were checking Yazzie's vitals, Yazzie allegedly punched one of the paramedics in the face with his left fist, according to the probably case statement.

Two officers pulled Yazzie out of the vehicle, and the suspect fell to the ground because of his alleged high level of intoxication, according to the statement. The officers observed that Yazzie allegedly was intoxicated to the point of unconsciousness. He was arrested and placed in the back of a patrol vehicle.

The San Juan County District Attorney's Office filed a motion to hold Yazzie without bond pending trial. He was incarcerated Thursday at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on a no-bond hold.

Yazzie's preliminary hearing on the most recent case 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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