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APD makes arrests for battery upon officer, indecent exposure

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ARTESIA — The Artesia Police Department (APD) made a pair of arrests last week after one man committed battery upon a peace officer and another was found walking naked in traffic.

On Aug. 16, officers were dispatched just after 12:30 p.m. to the area of Roselawn Avenue and Hermosa Drive in reference to vandalism. When police attempted to make contact with the suspect, later identified as 18-year-old Xavier Garcia of Artesia, he refused to stop walking until he had reached a bicycle lying on the ground on Roselawn.

Officers attempted to detain Garcia in order to investigate, but he attempted to depart the scene on the bicycle. According to the criminal complaint, when officers moved to restrain him, he balled his hand into a fist and stated he would “knock [the officer] out if [he] touched him.”

When police placed his arms behind his back, Garcia spit on them and had to be taken to the ground to prevent further spitting. He continued attempting to spit on police until being placed in the back of a patrol unit, at which time he was transported to the Artesia Detention Center.

Garcia is scheduled to appear for preliminary examination at 2 p.m. Sept. 20 before Judge Jimmy C. Foster in Artesia Magistrate Court on charges of battery upon a peace officer, a fourth-degree felony, and will appear at that same time on a separate charge of criminal damage to property (under $1,000). He has entered a plea of not guilty to the vandalism charge.

Elsewhere last weekend, a local man was arrested after numerous residents spotted him walking naked in traffic near the intersection of 20th and Main streets.

According to the complaint, police were called to the scene after a male subject was seen pulling on car door handles. By the time officers arrived, the man — identified as 61-year-old Gary Granger of Artesia — had removed his clothing and was walking in traffic.

Police were able to detain Granger without incident, and he was transported to the Artesia Detention Center on charges of indecent exposure. He is scheduled to appear for pre-trial hearing at 9 a.m. Sept. 27 before Foster in Artesia Magistrate Court. Granger has entered a plea of not guilty.

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