Police seek suspect in Shiprock assault

Dan Schwartz The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Shiprock police on Friday were still searching for a man accused of assaulting his girlfriend on Thursday in Shiprock and then fleeing toward Farmington on Navajo Route 36.

Hanson Tsosie, 25, of Cuba, is considered armed and dangerous, said Capt. Ivan Tsosie of the Shiprock Division of the Navajo Nation Police Department.

"He's still at large," said Capt. Tsosie on Friday morning.

He said if anyone knows where the suspect is, they can call the Navajo Department of Criminal Investigation at 928-871-6390 or the FBI at 505-326-5584.

In San Juan County, eight warrants have been issued for Hanson Tsosie on a variety of charges, including aggravated battery against a household member with a deadly weapon, said San Juan County Sheriff's Office Detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln.

Police on Thursday afternoon called off a search for Hanson Tsosie after the man's girlfriend changed her story, Capt. Tsosie said.

A caller from a housing project in southern Shiprock notified police at 2:34 p.m. Thursday that Hanson Tsosie was allegedly shooting at his girlfriend, said Capt. Tsosie.

The girlfriend told police while driving to the Shiprock police station that Hanson Tsosie was following her in a white car and had been drinking, Capt. Tsosie said.

The man fled from police, heading south on U.S. Highway 491 and east on Navajo Route 36, reaching up to 100 mph, Capt. Tsosie said.

San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputies established a command center at the Northern Edge Navajo Casino, deploying the department's armored vehicle and calling out more than a dozen armed deputies.

Farmington police officers waited ready to deploy spike strips down Navajo Route 36 toward N.M. Highway 371, or the Bisti Highway, and at the Shell gas station at the edge of Farmington on the Bisti Highway. Officers from the Bloomfield Police Department and New Mexico State Police also assisted Navajo police.

"We committed a lot of resources, and then that changed," Capt. Tsosie said.

He said that when police tracked down the girlfriend hours after the incident was reported, she told police Hanson Tsosie did not shoot at her. Capt. Tsosie said police determined, however, that Hanson Tsosie assaulted the woman.

Police called off the chase at mile marker 11.5 on Navajo Route 36 on Thursday afternoon. Sheriff's office deputies left the casino before 4 p.m., and Farmington police abandoned their posts shortly after.

Dan Schwartz covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and Follow him @dtdschwartz on Twitter.