Wanted man escapes New Mexico State Police on horseback in Llano

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 4/30/20

A modern police car proved no match for a horse last Friday (April 24) in the mountains southwest of Taos,  where a New Mexico State Police officer was eluded by a wanted man – whose steed …

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Wanted man escapes New Mexico State Police on horseback in Llano

Posted

A  police car proved no match for a horse last Friday (April 24) in the mountains southwest of Taos,  where a New Mexico State Police officer was eluded by a wanted man – whose steed helped him to escape capture.

State police public information officer Mark Soriano confirmed the previously rumored contest of animal versus machine this week. He said the incident began when a state police officer responded to a report of animal abuse along Pacheco Road in Llano, a small unincorporated community 2 miles south of Peñasco in Taos County.

When he arrived, the officer saw a man mounted on horseback and recognized him as Jason Gonzales, a 38-year-old with multiple outstanding warrants, Soriano said. As soon as the officer attempted to stop Gonzales, however, the mounted man galloped away down Pacheco Road and the officer gave chase.

"The officer continued to follow Gonzales and give commands using his public address system," Soriano said.

Gonzales turned the horse onto an unmarked easement at the end of the road and ran the horse out of sight into the forest.

Deputies with the Taos County Sheriff's Office also responded to a report of neglected animals in the same area last weekend and took away five dogs from a nearby property owned by an elderly man. It wasn't clear, however, whether the two incidents are related.

Soriano did not specify what Gonzales is wanted for. Court records indicate the escaped horseman has a history of traffic cases, including two cases for driving with a revoked license. In 2016, he was charged with aggravated battery against a household member and criminal damage to property.

Related to Friday's chase, a new warrant was filed for him in Taos Magistrate Court on Tuesday (April 28) for resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.

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