Published: 2:11 pm, Tue. Jul. 19th, 2016Updated: 3:36 pm
A pair of Carlsbad men were arrested this morning following a pursuit that ended with their vehicle slamming into one of the entrances to the city’s Wal-Mart.
Sgt. Matt Hutchinson with the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) said an ECSO detective on his way to work at approximately 8 a.m. today noticed a silver Pontiac Grand Am driving erratically on South Canal Street in Carlsbad.
The detective decided to follow the vehicle, at which point it began weaving in and out of traffic, nearly striking other motorists. The detective elected to initiate a traffic stop, at which point the Grand Am darted into the Wal-Mart parking lot.
“They sped through the Wal-Mart lot a little bit and then headed south toward Loving,” Hutchinson said today. “As they headed south, they turned into a Pilot gas station, sped through that parking lot, pulled back out, turned into Wal-Mart again, and began driving erratically up a few rows.”
The Grand Am then drove into one of the Wal-Mart entrances, with both suspects leaping out and fleeing on foot into the store.
Hutchinson says the passenger, later identified as Donald A. Busch, was apprehended within a few moments. The driver, identified as Gabriel R. Munoz, was followed by Wal-Mart staff as he walked through the store and was apprehended by deputies and Carlsbad Police Department officers who arrived on the scene.
No injuries were reported. Damage to the Wal-Mart is estimated at $5,000.
Munoz was charged aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer, criminal damage to property (over $1,000), being a fugitive from justice, escape from custody, and other misdemeanor crimes. Busch was charged with resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.
The incident remains under investigation by the ECSO.