Farmington Police release statement, vest cam video of officer's June 23 shooting incident

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON – Farmington police released video footage of an incident the night of June 23 that led a police officer to fire at a suspect in a fleeing vehicle after the officer was injured by that vehicle.

The driver was not injured by the gunshots. A 19-year-old man found inside that car later that night was arrested on a variety of felony charges.

“Thankfully, no other community members or other officers were injured,” Police Chief Steve Hebbe said in a news release. “Our command staff and lead trainers are reviewing this incident with the goal of ensuring officers don’t find themselves in this type of dangerous situation whenever possible.”

Smoke is seen from the barrel of Officer Waylon Wasson's service weapon as he fires at a fleeing suspect's car on June 23, 2022 following a vehicle chase. No one was injured and a suspect was arrested.

Hebbe said no more information would be released about the incident until the San Juan County Regional Officer Involved Shooting Task Force finished investigating the incident.

Hebbe also released a video statement with clips from the officer’s vest camera.

Farmington Police Department Officer Waylon Wasson 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, according to the narrative found in court documents.

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

The vest camera and dashcam video show that the vehicle he was attempting to stop turned from North Sullivan Avenue onto a street that was a dead end. The officer exited his police vehicle and ordered the driver to stop and put his hands up, but the driver accelerated past him. According to a court document the officer told other officers via the radio that the vehicle, which he described as a black Chevrolet Cobalt, had "rammed" him then fled northbound on North Sullivan Avenue.

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

The alleged driver, Ladarius Tinhorn, 19, was accused at the time of his arrest 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, according to the Daily Times archive.

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).

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

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.