Albuquerque man accused of DWI, child abuse for fleeing police with toddler

Driver allegedly hit speeds around 130 mph while fleeing

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
Roger Banks-Hartzell
  • Roger Banks-Hartzell, 35, faces 13 criminal charges, including four felonies, for allegedly possessing a gun as a convicted felon, possessing heroin, child abuse and fleeing New Mexico State Police.
  • A male passenger in the vehicle told police the defendant probably had used narcotics the night before.
  • Banks-Hartzell was incarcerated March 15 on a no-bond probation hold at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

FARMINGTON — An Albuquerque man has been arrested after allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs on U.S. Highway 550, hitting speeds of approximately 130 mph with an unrestrained 3-year-old boy in the back seat.

Roger Banks-Hartzell, 35, faces 13 criminal charges, including four felonies, for allegedly possessing a gun as a convicted felon, possessing heroin, child abuse and fleeing New Mexico State Police, according to court documents.

Nine of Banks-Hartzell’s petty misdemeanors include DWI, possession of drug paraphernalia and speed (36 mph and over).

The defendant did not have legal representation on the morning of March 15.

A New Mexico State Police officer was driving south on U.S. Highway 550 around 6:58 a.m. on March 6 when he saw a red Mercedes passenger car driving north at a high rate of speed.

The officer was around mile marker 137 on U.S. Highway 550 near County Road 7175, when he saw Banks-Hartzell’s vehicle driving about 92 mph in a 70 mph zone.

The officer turned on the vehicle’s emergency lights, but the Mercedes did not slow down, so the officer started to follow the vehicle.

It is noted in the probable cause statement that the officer hit speeds of around 130 mph to keep up with the Mercedes.

Banks-Hartzell was allegedly fleeing police when he turned onto County Road 7010 and passed a vehicle at a high rate of speed in a no-passing zone.

Another state police officer set up “stop sticks” on the county road, which Banks-Hartzell ran over.

The front, left tire on the Mercedes started to smoke as the vehicle started to slow down and come to a full stop.

The defendant told the officer he didn’t stop because he had a misdemeanor warrant and was on probation.

Banks-Hartzell also said he didn’t want to leave the 3-year-old boy in the car and go to jail. The toddler was found unrestrained in the back seat of the vehicle.

The boy was transferred to the custody of relatives with the help of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.

A male passenger in the vehicle told police the defendant probably had used narcotics the night before.

The officer wrote in the court documents that Banks-Hartzell appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.

About 18 grams of black tar heroin was found in the vehicle, along with a handgun and drug paraphernalia.

Banks-Hartzell was incarcerated on a no-bond probation hold at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on Mach 15.

His preliminary hearing is set for the afternoon of March 17 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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