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Reward to catch fleeing fugitive whose car struck, hurt LCPD officer

UPDATE, Feb. 17: Las Cruces and Dona Ana County Crime Stoppers on Wednesday offered a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of Mark James Esquibel, who is wanted for striking and injuring an officer with his car.

Police said Esquibel is being sought on charges including a felon in possession of a firearm, aggravated battery against a peace officer, and resisting, evading or eluding arrest.

Authorities noted that Esquibel has a separate arrest warrant for violating terms of his probation; police were attempting to take him into custody on that warrant Monday when he allegedly struck the hurt officer while fleeing.

Tips on Esquibel's location can be provided anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, officials said. 

UPDATE, Feb. 16: Las Cruces police were continuing Tuesday to look for a fleeing man they said was responsible for striking and injuring an officer with his car.

Police on Tuesday released a photo of the man sought and again asked for the public's help in finding him.

Mark James Esquibel, 40, was described as Hispanic, 6-feet tall, weighing 195 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Police said Esquibel is wanted for violating terms of his probation.

(Mark James Esquibel)

A police spokesman said events unfolded Monday about 4 p.m. at a Sonic fast-food restaurant when officers tried to take Esquibel into custody, but he refused to get out of his car and use of a stun gun on him failed to work.

That's when investigators said Esquibel put the car into drive and accelerated from his drive-in parking spot and struck the officer, before fleeing down Main Street as police fired at least one gunshot.

Esquibel's car was later found near the intersection of Winton Circle and Neleigh Drive, where police said he was apparently given a ride away from the area.

Esquibel's whereabouts remained a mystery on Tuesday afternoon and police warned that anyone helping him hide could face criminal charges for harboring or aiding a fugitive. Police said anyone who knows his lcoation should call 911 immediately.

The injured officer remained hospitalized Tuesday in serious condition at Mountainview Regional Medical Center with a broken leg and other injuries. Authorities said those injuries were not life-threatening.

ORIGINAL REPORT, Feb. 15: LAS CRUCES, New Mexico – A Las Cruces police officer suffered a serious injury to his leg when a man fleeing in his car struck him late Monday afternoon at a fast-food restaurant.

The incident happened at 4 p.m. at the Sonic Drive-In at 2925 N. Main Street.

Investigators said officers were conducting a welfare check on a man when it was determined they needed to take him into custody.

Police say the man fled from the scene and struck the officer. Police believe at least one gunshot was fired during the incident, but didn’t say by who.

The man's vehicle was located by police sometime after the incident in a west Las Cruces neighborhood. The man has not been located, but police said they want to speak to Mark James Esquibel, approximately age 40.

Anyone with information on Esquibel was asked by Las Cruces police to call them at (575) 526-0795.

New Mexico / News / Top Stories / Video

David Burge

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

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