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Handcuffed suspect steals police SUV, crashes into vehicles

Sunday, November 29th, 2015 at 12:05am

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. A woman under arrest for cashing a stolen check took off in the police SUV she was being held in and caused two wrecks, the latter of which sent two people to the hospital on Saturday afternoon, Albuquerque police said.

The woman, identified by police as 27-year-old Melissa Dominguez, ran from the scene of the crash at Menaul and Washington NE, but was taken into custody less than a block away, police said. Just before that crash, dispatchers received a report that a police unit fled the scene after striking a vehicle near Jackson and Central.

Dominguez was still wearing the handcuffs that police originally put on her during her arrest on a forgery charge stemming from a transaction at a southeast-area bank, said officer Simon Drobik, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman. Police are still investigating the details of how she managed to take the police vehicle and wreak havoc on the city, Drobik said. Secured police weapons were in the SUV when it was stolen.

She was out of control, Drobik said of the incident, which happened around 2 p.m. She even ran from us in handcuffs.

Elvia Trahan, right, and her passenger, Sandra, talk on cellphones after they were both involved in the crash. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Elvia Trahan was driving east on Menaul when her car was struck.

It was so quick, she said. I couldn t figure it out.

Trahan s passenger, Sandra, said she saw the police SUV moving quickly and thought an officer was chasing someone.

Trahan said her vehicle was hit by another SUV that the police vehicle had initially crashed into.

The two women were upset and had minor injuries after the crash. They were not taken to a hospital.

I m pretty darn tired of criminals taking over our city, Sandra said. We need more police.

Events unfolded when police responded to a report that a man and woman were cashing a bad check at a Wells Fargo bank at Zuni and San Mateo SE.

During that investigation, Drobik said, police found that the pair were in possession of two stolen vehicles, two stolen firearms and other stolen items. Dominguez brought two purses into the bank, one of which contained a handgun that had been reported stolen, according to a criminal complaint.

After Dominguez was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police SUV, she was able to get in the front and drive away, according to police.

While officers were conducting the investigation into the stolen firearm, they observed the police vehicle that Melissa had been placed in was driving through the parking lot, the complaint states.

Trying to evade officers, Dominguez was driving north on Washington when she drove off the street to bypass a red light at Menaul and caused a three-vehicle wreck, police and witnesses said.

After the crash, several people ran to help the person who they thought was an injured officer.

They thought an officer was in (the SUV), and they re almost to the car and this little girl in handcuffs took off and started running, said Christian, who works at a thrift store nearby.

Drobik said police arrived shortly after the crash and took the woman into custody.

The two people taken to the hospital after the crash appeared to suffer non-life-threatening injuries, he said.

Dominguez is charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, escape from custody of a police officer, forgery and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Dominguez was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in October 2014 and of conspiracy to commit larceny over $2,500 in May 2012, online court records show.

The man Dominguez was with is identified in the complaint as David Jaeger. He was arrested at the scene on a felony warrant.

Written by CREDIT


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