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Man allegedly leads RPD on chase in stolen vehicle

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An Albuquerque man has been charged with three criminal counts after reportedly leading Roswell police on a high-speed pursuit while driving a stolen vehicle.

Eloy Tafoya (Submitted Photo)

Eloy Tafoya, 32, was apprehended by police Sunday afternoon after an officer allegedly spotted him driving a black 1997 Ford F-150 pickup truck that was reported stolen. Tafoya led the officer on a chase, with the suspect vehicle at one point reaching speeds of 100 miles per hour, according to court documents. He now faces charges of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, aggravated fleeing law enforcement and unlawful use of a license.

The officer encountered the pickup while traveling east on Second Street en route to a Mulberry Street location where the vehicle theft was reported to have happened.

When the officer reached the intersection of East Second Street and Garden Avenue, a black pickup matching the description of the one reported stolen was on Garden Avenue, having stopped for a red light.

After the light turned green, the pickup turned east onto Second Street. The officer then noticed the pickup did not have a license plate and began following close behind the pickup.

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Before the officer had a chance to activate the emergency lights on the police unit, court documents state, the pickup accelerated, continuing east and running a red light at the intersection of East Second Street and Atkinson Avenue.

The suspect vehicle proceeded east, at times reportedly reaching speeds of up to 100 miles per hour and veering into the opposing lane of traffic, on the shoulder of the road and then eventually off the pavement.

Court documents state the pickup then got back onto the road while continuing to travel on the wrong side of the road, at one point forcing an oncoming vehicle to swerve to the center of the road to avoid a collision.

As the pursuit continued and the suspect vehicle kept driving into oncoming traffic, it narrowly missed causing an accident. The chase eventually came to a halt when the pickup lost control and cut across both lanes of traffic before crashing into a berm on the north side of the road.

Police, according to court filings, then approached the pickup and opened the passenger door, where they found the driver, later identified as Tafoya. Sounding incoherent and with his pupils dilated, Tafoya reportedly appeared to have been overdosing, according to court documents.

The officer then administered Narcan, after which Tafoya began to regain his coherence and was transported to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center for treatment.

Judge E.J. Fouratt on Monday set bond for Tafoya at $50,000 cash or surety bond during a first appearance in Chaves County Magistrate Court. A Chaves County Detention Center jail population summary report states that as of Tuesday morning, Tafoya was still being held at the facility.

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

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