New Mexico Police shoot minivan full of kids
TAOS, New Mexico – A simple traffic stop turned into a wild scene with a 14-year-old rushing a New Mexico State Police officer, a high-speed chase and another officer firing at a fleeing minivan full of kids.
Now the driver and her son are facing charges while New Mexico State Police are investigating the officers involved.
It all started Oct. 28 on a state highway south of Taos. A State Police officer pulled over Oriana Farrell's minivan for going 71 mph in a 55 mph zone. In the minivan with her were her five kids. The Taos News reports the children range in age from 6 to 18.
On dash cam video released to KRQE News 13 Friday you can see Farrell and the officer argue after Farrell couldn't decide whether to pay the $126 fine or contest it in court. The officer instructs her to turn her vehicle off and stay put before walking back to his car.
But Farrell drives off instead and the officer has to pull her over again. He doesn't appear happy as he approaches the driver's side door of the minivan. The officer yells for Ferrell to get out several times before reaching into the minivan to try and pull her out.
In the dash cam video, you can hear her children yelling for the officer to leave their mom alone and get off of her.
At one point Farrell's 14-year-old son gets out of the minivan and starts walking towards the officer, but the boy thinks better of it after the officer draws his Taser and points it at the boy. He gets back in the van while the officer continues his struggle to get Ferrell out of the minivan.
"Look, I'm going to ask you one more time to get out of the vehicle and then I'm going to pull you out, OK?" the officer said. "You're already facing evading charges. You ran away from me."
"Sir, I pulled back over, I didn't run away," Farrell responded. "You see my children. I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm just trying to take them to the Rio Grande."
Finally, Farrell agrees to get out and talk with the officer behind the minivan. The conversation doesn't last long. When the officer tells her to turn around, Farrell bolts back towards her minivan. The officer grabs her and a struggle ensues.
That's when her 14-year-old son gets out of the car again and rushes the officer. The boy and the cop have a short tussle. The officer draws his Taser again while the boy runs back into the minivan and closes the door.
As backup officers pull up, the officer pulls out his baton and smashes one of the rear windows as the family screams again. The minivan speeds off while another officer fires what appears to be three shots at the fleeing vehicle.
Farrell leads State Police on a high-speed chase into Taos before giving herself up in front of a hotel.
Farrell and her 14-year-old son are both arrested. The mother gets child abuse and fleeing charges as well as a misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia. The Taos News reports that State Police claim they found two marijuana pipes in the minivan. Her son is charged with battery of an officer.
The family is reportedly from Memphis and was visiting New Mexico on an educational trip.
State Police are not releasing the names of the officers involved but say they are both under investigation for the incident.
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