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January 2023

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Conflict Over Parking Spot Ends with Assault, Hit-and-Run

A reported “hit-and-run” on September 4 in Red River was the culmination of a brawl over a parking spot, Red River police say.


According to the Red River Marshal’s office, at about 5:43 pm, the department received a call about “an ROV (Recreational Off-road Vehicle) running over three people.” Upon arriving on the scene at the northwest corner of Bunker Hill Trail and Main Street (HWY 38), the Marshal’s Office discovered that an assault over a parking spot led to a single hit-and-run.


“There were some words exchanged with our Victim 1, there were three victims,” Marshal James Johnson told the Questa del Rio News. “Victim 1 had some words with four males from Carlsbad and they basically jumped him, knocked him to the ground, and they commenced to jump on top of him and continue the assault. During the assault [a family member of Victim 1] saw the assault, went over to help… And two of [the perpetrators] turned on the good Samaritan and started beating him up [Victim 2].”


As a crowd gathered around the assault with several men attempting to intervene, the four perpetrators jumped onto their off-road vehicles and attempted to flee the scene. The mother of one of the victims ran to the scene in an attempt to help and as the perpetrators fled the scene, they ran over the mother (Victim 3). The perpetrators fled east.


Two of the victims were transported to Holy Cross Hospital by Red River EMS, while the third victim drove themselves to the hospital. All three victims were discharged from the hospital the following day.


Three officers from the Red River Marshal arrived on scene to be met by two Taos County officials later.
Marshal Johnson had just gotten back into town when he noticed two ROVs drive past his house at a high speed followed shortly by two officers (one officer went all the way up to Bobcat Pass, north of Red River, in case the perpetrators fled that way).


After observing the high-speed pursuit, Marshal Johnson radioed in and was informed of the situation. He received a tip from a co-owner of the Roadrunner RV Park about a possible sighting of one of the perpetrators speeding onto his property. Marshal Johnson followed the tip to Roadrunner RV Park, identified the vehicle that ran over the third victim, and located and apprehended three of the perpetrators.


A fourth perpetrator was not apprehended at the time due to a perceived lack of probable cause. However, by the time the Red River Marshal’s Office was able to canvass the scene, collect evidence, and review some photographic and video footage of the incident, they came to the conclusion that the fourth man was involved so he now has three warrants for his arrest (two warrants for aggravated battery and one warrant for fleeing the scene of an accident with injuries). Charges have been filed and Marshal Johnson says “a fourth arrest is coming.”


One can listen to our interview with Marshal Johnson in its entirety at the following web address: https://soundcloud.com/socialmedia-qedf/interview-incident-at-red-river.

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  • Dylan R.N. Crabb

    Got a scoop on a good story? Let Dylan know. Visit Dylan's blog for more of his writing and political commentary on his website.