Police Hunt for Suspect Who Ran Over Officer Conducting Welfare Check in New Mexico

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
February 16, 2021US News
Police Hunt for Suspect Who Ran Over Officer Conducting Welfare Check in New Mexico
Police have a residential street cordoned off as detectives investigate in this file photo taken in New Mexico. (Susan Montoya Bryan/AP)

A police officer in New Mexico was hospitalized with a serious injury after he was struck by a suspect’s car who accelerated away from the scene during a welfare check, authorities said.

The Las Cruces Police Department (LCPD) said they have opened an investigation into the incident that happened on Monday around 4 p.m. at the Sonic Drive-In on 2925 North Main Street, according to a statement.

Preliminary information gathered from the investigation indicates officers were conducting a welfare check on an unidentified motorist and officials deemed it necessary to take the man into custody, police said.

Authorities believe at least one shot was fired during the incident that was captured on video and shared by a KFOX14 journalist, showing the moment the officer was struck by the fleeing vehicle.

The LCPD officer suffered a serious leg injury from the hit-and-run incident and was rushed to a local hospital with no further update on his condition, according to the police statement.

Investigators later located the suspect’s vehicle in a west Las Cruces neighborhood, but the driver has not been located yet.

Police said they are looking to speak with a man identified as 40-year-old Mark James Esquibel in relation to the incident.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Esquibel is asked to call the LCPD at (575) 526-0795.