Mexican national charged with vehicle theft, assault

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Heriberto Nava-Martinez, the 23-year-old Mexican national shot Sept. 6 by a Farmington police officer, has been formally charged in connection to the chaos that preceded his arrest.

Nava-Martinez, a Farmington resident, was charged Sept. 11 in Farmington Magistrate Court with assault with intent to commit a violent felony, attempted armed robbery, vehicle theft, two counts of felony vandalism and more than a dozen other various misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors, including first-offense drunken driving.

Nava-Martinez remains at the San Juan Regional Medical Center, where he is receiving treatment for gunshot wounds allegedly suffered during an altercation at the hospital with officer David Rock. Hospital spokeswoman Roberta Rogers said Thursday afternoon Nava-Martinez was in fair condition.

Nava-Martinez has not received a court-appointed attorney or retained private legal representation, according to court records.

Farmington police officers were dispatched shortly before 9 p.m. Sept. 6 after receiving reports that a white pickup truck belonging to Ralph W. Miller Inc. was stolen from the business' property on Herrera Road, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. The truck was smashed through a front gate at the business, the affidavit states, which shattered the vehicle's windshield, bent its hood and crushed its radiator.

The truck was next seen heading east on Main Street in the westbound lanes, forcing several other vehicles off the road, the affidavit states. The truck careened through several parking lots and jumped a curb before turning back onto Main Street, according to the affidavit.

Officers eventually stopped the vehicle, and Nava-Martinez was pulled from the driver's seat, the affidavit states. Officers at the scene observed Nava-Martinez was extremely restless and sweating profusely from his face, according to the affidavit. He was also grinding his teeth and exhibiting facial tics, the affidavit states. His pulse was measured at approximately 160 beats per minute, and his blood pressure was approximately 180/120, the affidavit states.

Nava-Martinez told officers he drank about four beers and smoked marijuana before driving.

Nava-Martinez was transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center for a blood test and so his vital signs could be monitored, the affidavit states.

Shortly after his blood draw, Nava-Martinez allegedly attacked Rock and was shot during a "violent struggle," according to a Farmington Police Department press release.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said Thursday the shooting remains under investigation by New Mexico State Police. O'Brien said any charges related to the hospital assault would be filed by state police once the agency completes its investigation.

Rock was placed on paid administrative leave following the shooting. Farmington police Lt. Casey Malone said Thursday the department did not anticipate that Rock would return to active duty for a couple weeks.

According to the affidavit, Nava-Martinez was admitted to the United States on a temporary work visa on Aug. 12, 2012. The visa expired on Dec. 20 of that same year.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.