Regional
6:44 pm
Fri October 7, 2011

Charges Filed In Assault On Las Cruces Police Officer

Las Cruces – Las Cruces Police, in coordination with the Third Judicial District Attorney's Office, have filed charges against the man involved in last Friday's assault on an officer.

Isaac Gutierrez, 21, of the 200 block of Broadview Court, is charged with one count of aggravated battery on a peace officer and one count of resisting, evading or obstructing an officer. Gutierrez had previously been charged with violating terms of his probation for an armed robbery committed in 2008. The charges against Gutierrez carry a $20,000 cash-only bond.

At around 3:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, Las Cruces Police were summoned to what was initially called a domestic disturbance. The initial report indicated that a woman was assaulted by a man believed to be in a white pickup truck.

LCPD officers located the pickup at 1505 La Fonda Drive and noticed several subjects nearby. When Villarreal identified himself, Gutierrez and at least one other man started running into a dimly-lighted area near the apartment complex. Villarreal gave chase and encountered one of the subjects between apartments. When Villarreal ordered the man to surrender, the officer was struck in the head by Gutierrez who had approached from the side of the officer.

Villarreal, injured and bleeding, responded by firing his duty weapon and struck Gutierrez who was still advancing toward him. Gutierrez received a superficial wound to his abdomen and was released from a local hospital later that morning.

Officer Villarreal received several lacerations to his forehead that required at least 17 stitches. A nine year veteran of LCPD, Villarreal was placed on paid administrative leave which is standard operating procedure for such an incident. Villarreal is still recovering from his injuries and has not yet returned to duty.

Charges against the men who were with Gutierrez, who also ran from police, are pending.

The incident remains under investigation by the Las Cruces Officer-Involved Incident Task Force which is comprised of representatives from the New Mexico State Police, Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office, New Mexico State University Police and the Las Cruces Police Department. Also assisting the investigation is a representative from the Third Judicial District Attorney's office. The task force is the primary investigatory body for officer-involved shootings in Dona Ana County.