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Man pleads not guilty to charges in high-speed pursuit


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A man who allegedly led police on a high-speed chase with his two-month-old daughter in the vehicle before crashing into a ditch in a pecan field has pleaded not guilty to multiple criminal counts.

Christopher Delatorre (Submitted Photo)

Court documents state that when Christopher Delatorre, 41, of Roswell appeared at his Nov. 15 arraignment in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court, he pleaded not guilty to one count each of: abuse of a child, does not result in death or great bodily harm; aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer; criminal trespass; leaving the scene of an accident, property damage; improper display of registration plates; no insurance; and two counts of failure to stop at a stop sign.

Judge James Hudson scheduled a jury trial in the case for March 29.

The charges originate from a Sept. 30 high-speed pursuit that began in the area of Tilden Street and Union Avenue and reached speeds of up to 90 mph, court records state.

The chase concluded after the 2005 Dodge pickup truck Delatorre was driving crashed through a fence and was found stuck in a ravine, which according to court documents had “at least a 12 ft drop.”

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A woman and an infant later identified as Delatorre’s two-and-a-half-month-old daughter were reportedly in the back seat of the truck at the time.

At 10:50 p.m. on the day of the incident, police officers were conducting a traffic stop when they saw the pickup — reportedly driven by Delatorre — traveling at a high rate of speed. It ran a stop sign at the intersection of Tilden Street and Union Ave.

Court records state an officer began to pursue the pickup, driving at speeds of up to 70 mph in an attempt to reach Delatorre. The chase continued west on McGaffey with the RPD unit eventually catching up to Delatorre.

The pickup continued west on McGaffey before turning onto Brown Street and heading north. Delatorre continued north, crossing West 2nd Street and swerving before slowing down and again picking up speed.

The pursuit continued east on Atoka Trail until reaching a dead end. According to court documents, Delatorre then drove at a northeast angle into a nearby field and headed toward the Relief Route.

Law enforcement set up a perimeter in the area.

Court records state the pickup broke through a barbed wire fence and ventured into a pecan orchard before crashing into the ravine. Police followed tire tracks across the field until encountering the pickup in the ravine.

Delatorre then reportedly emerged from the pickup with his hands up and was taken into custody. The woman who was inside the pickup with Delatorre confirmed that he was driving the pickup during the chase.

He later explained to police that he did not stop for police because he did not want them to take his pickup. Delatorre said he also did not think police would follow him out of city limits.

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

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