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Caught on video: 12-year-old leads Doña Ana deputies on chase before crashing car

UPDATE, Sept. 14: The Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday released additional police dash cam video showing a 12-year-old boy leading authorities in a chase in the Las Cruces area after allegedly stealing a vehicle. You can view this latest video in the video player above.

ORIGINAL REPORT, Sept. 13: DOÑA ANA COUNTY, New Mexico -- Doña Ana County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 12-year-old boy on Sunday after they say he crashed a vehicle following a short pursuit with authorities that was documented in photos and video.

The sheriff told ABC-7 that at one point there were five kids in the vehicle. When the child driver crashed on his own, deputies reportedly recovered 9 mm bullets in his pocket. They later found a gun believed to have been thrown out of the child's moving vehicle during the pursuit.

Authorities say the child had a prior criminal history, with a felony warrant for conspiracy to commit burglary of another vehicle.

Photos and videos of the incident circulated over the weekend on the social media page for FitFam.

Around noon on Sunday, deputies said they received a call of a reckless driver near the Johnson Mobile Home Park in the Las Alturas area.

At 12:50 p.m., there was another call reporting a reckless driver on Dalrynple Road and Doña Ana Road. Deputies said the juvenile driver picked up four other kids between the ages of 12 and 17 at the Pic Quik in that area.

A deputy made contact with the vehicle about a mile north at Armstrong Road, according to Sgt. Dason Allen with the traffic division of the Sheriff's Office. The deputy turned on his flashing lights, but the young driver allegedly failed to yield and continued north on El Camino Real Road.

The child driver eventually got onto Interstate 25, heading southbound toward U.S. 70, authorities said. The 12-year-old suspect exited at Del Rey Boulevard, pulling into the parking lot of Peter Piper Pizza. At that point, the four passengers jumped out of the moving vehicle and deputies believed the child abandoned the gun.

From there, authorities said the driver headed to the parking lot of the old Kmart store and drove west onto Bataan Memorial East, going the wrong way into oncoming traffic.

Allen said the child driver had a head-on collision with another driver, who did not suffer life-threatening injuries. Authorities said the child also did not have injuries.

Allen said the Sheriff's Office has seen a recent rise in the number of children involved with criminal activity.

"Dealing with kids from different ages, they need supervision," said Allen. "A lot of the times we're dealing with these juveniles, when they're committing crimes, there's no supervision. No adults around."

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.



  1. Got busted once for driving a John Deere tractor on the roads at 12 years old. Got away with it. My father explained I had been driving the tractor for a couple of years on the farm and the tractor had to go into town for service. He had been following in the pick-up. It was either the tractor or the pick-up. I couldn’t reach the clutch on the pick-up, so the tractor it was!

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