Kirtland man accused of aggravated DWI after allegedly hitting parked vehicle

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A Kirtland man is facing an aggravated driving while intoxicated charge after being arrested for allegedly hitting a parked vehicle in Farmington then refusing to comply with law enforcement.

Silas Bedah, 54, is accused of a third-degree felony count of aggravated DWI (7th or subsequent) along with misdemeanor counts of driving while license revoked and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer. He also faces petty misdemeanor counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving damage to vehicle, no proof of insurance, and evidence of registration, according to court records.

John Beckstead, Bedah's attorney, was unavailable for comment on April 15.

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The San Juan County Sheriff's Office handled the investigation.

A deputy was dispatched around 1:33 a.m. on April 3 after being informed about a white cargo van that hit a vehicle in the 1900 block of Camina Placer in Farmington, according to the probable cause statement.

The court document goes on to describe the situation and what caused a deputy to arrest Bedah.

The deputy was told the van sustained heavy damage to its front end and was last seen heading westbound onto East Murray Drive.

The deputy later saw the van traveling west on U.S. Highway 64. He attempted to make a traffic stop by activating lights and sirens, but said Bedah continued driving toward Kirtland.

In Kirtland, Bedah turned north onto County Road 6500. At this point, the deputy turned off lights and sirens but continued to follow, the court document stated. The van eventually stopped at a space inside an RV park in Kirtland. That is where the deputy ordered more than once for Bedah to exit the vehicle, but the document indicates that he did not comply.

A second deputy arrived at the scene. Together, they approached the driver's side of the van, gave more instructions and when Bedah refused, they removed him from the vehicle.

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According to the probable cause statement, Bedah had bloodshot, watery eyes along with slurred speech and smelled of the odor of an alcoholic beverage. He was taken to the Sheriff's Office Kirtland substation, where the deputy read the breath test advisory and the blood test advisory to Bedah, who did not respond or acknowledge the information.

Deputies obtained a search warrant to draw Bedah's blood, which was done at San Juan Regional Medical Center.

He was booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on the morning of April 3, according to jail records.

He remains in custody at the jail and has a detention hearing set for April 18 in Aztec District Court.

Court records also show that Bedah is facing several felony charges, including fraud, in two criminal cases that accuse him of defrauding customers at the auto repair shop he had operated in Farmington.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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