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Man calls sheriff while pursued by deputies

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A man was talking on the phone with Chaves County Sheriff Mike Herrington Friday at the same time he was being pursued by Herrington’s deputies in a vehicle chase.

Deputies learned over the radio that Jeremy Graves, 29, of Roswell, called Herrington during the pursuit and informed him he had discovered a firearm underneath one of the seats of his black Honda, according to documents filed Monday in Chaves County Magistrate Court.

“Sheriff Herrington later advised the deputies that Mr. Graves was going to throw the firearm out the window,” the document states.

A deputy reported seeing the firearm being thrown out the window and another went to retrieve it.

Graves also told Herrington he had taken a lot of pills throughout the pursuit, wanted to be taken to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center Sunrise Mental Health Program and eventually that he was going to pull over, shortly before the vehicle came to a stop just south of East Second Street.

Herrington could not be reached for comment before press time Tuesday.

Documents state Graves was charged with seven criminal counts. The charges were: aggravated assault upon a peace officer; aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer; firearms or destructive devices receipt, transportation or possession by a felon; tampering with evidence; driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; negligent use of a deadly weapon; and resisting, evading or obstructing a peace officer.

Documents state that when the pursuit ended, deputies detected the smell of liquor on Graves. He also admitted to deputies that he had taken five Xanax pills and two hydrocodones.

The pursuit began at 10:21 p.m. on Friday when a deputy attempted a traffic stop in the 200 block of East Charleston Street.

The deputy who initiated the stop was aware the vehicle belonged to Graves, who was wanted on two outstanding arrest warrants: one for battery against a household member and the other for failure to appear, according to court documents.

When the deputy initiated the emergency equipment on his unit, Graves allegedly started to drive away, turning east on Charleston and continuing eastbound, documents state. The vehicle was traveling east at a high rate of speed, without headlights on.

In an attempt to stop Graves, a deputy parked her fully marked unit in the middle of the road with lights activated. Graves, in his vehicle, allegedly traveled in the direct path of the deputy’s unit, with the deputy still seated inside of it.

Graves missed hitting the deputy, who quickly reversed the unit to avoid being struck, documents state.

The vehicle driven by Graves crossed Highway 285 and headed east on East Grand Plains Road, at speeds that fluctuated between 25 and 45 mph throughout the chase, according to documents. The vehicle then headed east on Old Dexter Highway before turning south.

Two other vehicles were forced to turn onto the shoulder to avoid being struck.

Graves continued east to Hummingbird Lane before turning north. Graves continued to East Grand Plains Road before turning west and then north onto School Road.

Eventually, the vehicle reached Cedarvale Road and then turned east onto Seminole Road. Documents state the vehicle continued north on Seminole Road and east on McGaffey Street before turning into the Vaz Dairy.

Deputies attempted to lay out spike strips to stop the vehicle, but it sped around the dairy, averting the strips.

The vehicle then headed west on McGaffey Street, to Seminole, heading south and then turning west onto Lovers Lane, the documents state.

Deputies deployed spike strips on Lovers Lane and White Mill Road, striking the vehicle’s tires. The vehicle continued north before stopping just south of East Second Street.

Numerous orders were given for Graves to exit the vehicle, which he did not heed. Deputies then approached Graves’ vehicle from the passenger side and attempted to break the passenger window before Graves stepped out.

Bond was set for Graves at $150,000 on Monday following an appearance in Chaves County Magistrate Court. As of Tuesday morning, Graves was still at the Chaves County Detention Center, according to a jail population report.

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