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Man pleads not guilty to charges in high-speed chase

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A suspect in a September high-speed chase, during which he allegedly almost struck two occupied law enforcement vehicles, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Jacob P. Sigala, 29, of Roswell waived a reading of formal charges against him and entered a plea of not guilty to one count each of aggravated assault upon a peace officer, deadly weapon; and aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer, when he appeared via Google Meet Monday at his arraignment in New Mexico 5th Judicial District Court in Chaves County, according to documents of the court proceeding.

Sigala, according to court documents, was driving a Toyota Corolla on Sept. 19 when he led Roswell police officers and Chaves County deputies on a high-speed pursuit along Main Street as well as through alleyways and neighborhoods before he was apprehended in the 2400 block of North Garden Avenue.

During the pursuit, which at times reached speeds of up to 70 mph, Sigala is alleged to have nearly collided with an RPD unit occupied by an officer on 17th Street. Later, a deputy was almost struck by the Corolla while sitting in his vehicle in the westbound lane at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and McGaffey Street. In both cases, the officers were able to move out of the path of the Corolla and avoid being struck.

The pursuit, court documents state, began at 2:30 a.m. when Sigala, driving at a high rate of speed on West Hobson Road, reportedly passed a deputy driving a marked unit.

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In response, the deputy activated the lights on his unit to initiate a traffic stop. Sigala then allegedly ran a stop sign at the intersection of West Hobson Road and Main Street before turning onto Main Street.

Sigala then reportedly proceeded north on Main Street, according to court documents, driving erratically without regard for stop signs, speed limits, traffic lights or maintaining proper lanes of travel.

The chase ended when Sigala reportedly crashed the vehicle into a pole while driving through an alleyway off North Garden Avenue. He fled on foot but was located and taken into custody a short time later.

Sigala, who was taken to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center to be examined for possible injuries, court documents state, later refused to give a statement or speak with law enforcement officers after he was read his Miranda rights.

At the time he was taken into custody, Sigala had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for failure to appear at a Magistrate Court hearing three days earlier while out on $25,000 cash or surety bond, in a case related to another high-speed chase in which Sigala allegedly led police on a vehicle pursuit while his 4-year-old son was in the backseat.

Following his arrest in the Sept. 19 incident, Magistrate Judge K.C. Rogers ordered Sigala released on his own recognizance.

District Judge Dustin K. Hunter, during Monday’s proceeding, according to electronic court records, scheduled Sigala’s jury trial on charges related to the Sept. 19 incident for June 8.

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

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