Home News Local News Bail set for man charged in gas station explosion

Bail set for man charged in gas station explosion

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Alex Ross Photo A charred fuel pump at the Bell Gas station at 1815 Southeast Main St. in Roswell May 18. The damage occurred when a pickup truck being pursued by a Chaves County sheriff’s deputy crashed into a pump, leading to a fire. The suspect fled the scene and a female gas station employee sustained burns from the fire. Victor Barron, 21, of Roswell was later arrested. Barron’s bail in connection with the incident was set Tuesday. He faces charges in three other cases in which bond was also set Tuesday.

Bond was set Tuesday for a man accused of leading police on a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle that ended with the vehicle crashing into a gas pump and sparking an explosion at a local gas station.

Judge K.C. Rogers set bond at $10,000 cash or surety for Victor Barron, 21, of Roswell, Tuesday during a first appearance in Magistrate Court in connection with the May 18 theft and fire.

However, an additional $10,000 cash or surety bond was set during the appearance in two other cases of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle in which Barron is charged. Bond was also set at $5,000 cash or surety in a fourth case in which Barron faces one count each of concealing identity, credit card theft and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Matthew Stone, chief deputy district attorney, said Wednesday in order to be released pending trial, Barron would have to post bond in each case, amounting to a total of $3,500 that would have to be paid.

Barron’s name though was still on the population summary report Wednesday of prisoners housed at the Chaves County Detention Center.

According to court documents, Barron is charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer, accident involving death or personal injuries, tampering with evidence, accident involving damage to a vehicle, two counts of criminal damage over $1,000 and failure to give immediate notice of an accident in connection with a May 18 vehicle theft and pursuit.

Barron allegedly confessed to the crimes days later when he was arrested, explaining that he had taken methamphetamine before committing each crime, according to court documents.

The Law Offices of the Public Defender in Roswell is representing Barron, according to electronic court records, but no specific attorney was listed.

Calls made to the office for comment on Barron’s case were not returned before press time.

Barron is accused of stealing a black 2017 Ford F-250 pickup truck from an area near Orchard Avenue and Third Street early on the morning of May 18.

When Roswell police spotted the vehicle and attempted to initiate a traffic stop, Barron is alleged to have fled in the pickup beginning a chase with local law enforcement throughout Roswell.

An affidavit filed by Chaves County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeromy Parmer — who joined the pursuit as the pickup was traveling northbound on Orchard — stated the pickup during the pursuit reached speeds of between 80 and 100 miles per hour and forced multiple vehicles off the road.

Parmer stated in the affidavit that he lost sight of the pickup near the intersection of McGaffey and Stanton, but when he reached the intersection of Stanton Avenue and Parkway Boulevard, he encountered a large cloud of dust, as well as a female pointing south on Garden Avenue. Parmer added he saw a large amount of debris on the east side of Garden Avenue and then noticed a large plume of smoke south of his location.

When Parmer reached the intersection of Garden Avenue and Marker, he saw that the pickup had rammed into a gas pump at the Bell Gas Station and was totally enveloped in flames.

One female employee at the station sustained third-degree burns to her arms and had to be airlifted to a medical facility in Lubbock for treatment. Barron allegedly fled the scene, but when he was arrested days later, was found to have fresh burns on the right side of his face and arms.

The affidavit states Parmer later observed surveillance video of a Hispanic male in a black jacket fleeing the scene on foot and running westbound down an alley between Ballard and Church streets.

Barron was arrested by deputies May 21 at a McDonald’s in the 4500 block of North Main Street. Deputies had been dispatched to the scene in response to a caller from Walmart, who reported seeing an individual with fresh burns on his face.

He was then found by the deputies at the nearby McDonald’s. Two stolen credit cards were allegedly found near Barron at the McDonald’s when he was confronted by deputies.

Initially, when asked for his name, Barron identified himself as David Duran, said he was from Mexico and did not know when he was born. However, he later disclosed his true identity to deputies when they took him to a hospital to receive treatment for his burns.

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