Man charged with child abuse after allegedly leading Las Cruces Police on high-speed chase

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - A Las Cruces man has been charged with child abuse after he led police on a high-speed pursuit Thursday evening, and was found to be driving on a suspended license and with three children along for the ride, according to Las Cruces Police.

Johnny L. Etie, 55, of the 1200 block of Espanola Street, is charged with one count each of negligent child abuse; aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer; resisting, evading or obstructing an officer; and driving while license suspended or revoked.

According to police, shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, a Las Cruces Police officer saw a 1993 GMC pickup allegedly blow through the intersection of Solano Drive and Idaho Avenue at a high rate of speed. The pickup was heading south on Solano at what was estimated to be around 90 miles per hour, police said.

The officer attempted to pull the truck over but police say the truck continued southbound on Solano, nearly striking several vehicles along the way.

Police say the driver refused to pull over and traveled to University Avenue, and then west where he eventually skidded into a parking lot at 2530 S. Espina St. The driver, later identified as Etie, then jumped from the vehicle and ran toward the Casa Banderas Apartments where he was taken into custody by the officer.

A woman and her three juvenile children were in the GMC pickup. The children, whose ages range from 1-month to 14-years, were not injured.

Officers discovered that Etie's New Mexico driver's license had previously been suspended. Etie's adult passenger, the 25-year-old mother of the three children, was issued a criminal citation for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Etie was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center with bond set at $10,000.

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