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Man arrested after fleeing deputies pleads not guilty

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A man who fled Roswell Police and Chaves County deputies Monday night before being captured, pleaded not guilty to two criminal charges at his arraignment Tuesday in Chaves County Magistrate Court.

Joel Contreras, 24, of Roswell, pleaded not guilty to one count of driving while license revoked and one count of resisting, evading or obstructing an officer — both misdemeanors — according to the New Mexico secure access website.

Contreras can be released on $2,500 cash or surety bond, according to an order setting conditions for his release.

The pursuit began at 5:45 p.m. on Monday after Roswell Police officers attempted a traffic stop of a vehicle allegedly driven by Contreras on Garden Avenue and East Walnut Street, according to a criminal compliant.

Contreras eventually jumped out of the vehicle as it was still moving, and attempted to flee the scene on foot, according to a post made late Monday night on the Facebook page of the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office. The vehicle came to a stop after crashing.

A foot chase then ensued with Contreras managing to make it over one fence before he was arrested and taken into custody by deputies. Contreras was treated for minor injuries and taken to jail. A deputy also received minor cuts to his hand while going over the fence and apprehending the suspect, according to the post.

A female passenger riding with Contreras at the time was also arrested, but the name of the passenger and what, if any, charges she faced were not disclosed in the Facebook post.

Calls to Chaves County Sheriff Mike Herrington were not returned before press time Tuesday.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.