ARTESIA — The New Mexico State Police (NMSP) have released additional information on a July pursuit that began in Dexter and ended in Artesia.
As reported in the July 25 edition of the Daily Press, a suspect vehicle led area authorities on a chase in the early-morning hours of July 24 from Dexter south on State Road 2 and U.S. 285 to Artesia. In the area of 10th and Main streets, police executed a Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT) maneuver that sent the vehicle through a portion of the landscaping at Artesia National Bank before it came to rest in the parking lot of The Eye Site.
According to reports obtained from the NMSP, an officer from that agency joined a chase initiated by the Dexter Police Department (DPD) at approximately 2:11 a.m. July 24. The DPD believed the driver to be intoxicated, having observed a silver 2006 Hyundai Tiburon travelling at high rates of speed and failing to maintain lanes.
The pursuit was heading south on SR2 (Lake Arthur Highway) at the time.
Eddy County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) deputies attempted to deploy spike strips but were unable to stop the vehicle, and the Artesia Police Department was also called in to assist at that time. As the NMSP officer headed north on First Street toward SR2, the Hyundai was spotted driving 67 mph in a 45-mph zone.
The NMSP cruiser made a U-turn and proceeded to catch up to the vehicle at First and Main streets. At that time, the driver turned west into the eastbound lane of Main and continued to flee in the oncoming lane at a high rate of speed.
Once past Seventh Street, where Main expands to four lanes, the Hyundai moved into the outer westbound lane. With no other vehicles in sight, the NMSP officer made the decision to execute a PIT maneuver, and after skidding through a grassy area at Artesia National Bank, the suspect came to a stop in The Eye Site lot.
The driver, later identified as Jack Daniel Bridegroom, 34, with addresses listed in both Artesia and Roswell, exited the vehicle upon command and was taken into custody without further incident.
According to reports, Bridegroom agreed to speak with the NMSP officer about why he had fled Dexter police. He was found to have an outstanding warrant and cited that as his reason for refusing to stop.
Bridegroom was medically cleared by Artesia General Hospital staff and booked into the Artesia Detention Center on charges of aggravated fleeing of a law enforcement officer, reckless driving, failure to obey traffic laws, and speeding.
His preliminary examination, scheduled for Aug. 2 before Judge Jimmy C. Foster in Artesia Magistrate Court, was waived, and he was bound over to Fifth Judicial District Court in Carlsbad. Bridegroom is now scheduled to appear for arraignment before Judge Jane Shuler-Gray at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.