Farmington man accused of running over policeman's foot; officer fires gun in response

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A Farmington man faces multiple charges that stem from an incident last week where he allegedly injured a police officer with his vehicle.

Ladarius Tinhorn, 19, is accused of third-degree felony counts of abuse of a child (does not result in death or great bodily harm) and aggravated battery on a peace officer (deadly weapon), along with fourth-degree felony count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint states he was also charged with the misdemeanors of resisting, evading or obstructing an officer (refusal to stop) and failure to give information and render aid ‐ accident with no great bodily harm or death and the petty misdemeanors of aggravated driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs (0.16 or above), driving on the wrong side of road, failure to give immediate notice of accidents, and open container (possession).

Tyson Quail, Tinhorn's attorney, did not respond to a request for comment on June 28.

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According to the probable cause statement, an officer from the Farmington Police Department attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle for driving in the opposite lane of traffic at about 11:05 p.m. on June 23 in the area of North Sullivan Avenue and East Navajo Street.

The court document states that the officer advised other officers over the radio that the vehicle, described as a black Chevrolet Cobalt, had "rammed" him then fled northbound on North Sullivan Avenue.

After several officers arrived at the location, the responding officer informed them that he fired shots at the vehicle because it rammed him, the document states.

A perimeter was set up by officers in the area of North Schofield Lane and East Navajo Street.

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A few minutes after midnight, a passerby told officers a black Cobalt was in the area. The car was eventually located after officers followed a trail of fluid to East 11th Street and North Tucker Avenue.

Tinhorn was identified as being one of the two males found in the Cobalt. Officers later learned that the second male was 17 years old.

The court document describes them as being intoxicated. Both were later transported to the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, but when officers found out the second male was only 17, he was taken to the San Juan County Juvenile Detention Center where he was later booked.

The probable cause statement states that the officer's right foot was run over by the vehicle allegedly driven by Tinhorn.

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Paramedics treated the officer for minor injuries at the scene, according to a news release issued on June 27 by the police department.

"The incident remains under investigation, and further information will be provided as it becomes available," the department's news release states.

The shooting is being investigated by the San Juan County Regional Officer Involved Shooting Task Force. The San Juan County Sheriff's Office is the primary agency investigating the matter.

If anyone has information about the incident, the office can be reached at 505-334-6107.

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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