Published: 1:49 pm, Fri. Jan. 10th, 2020Updated: 1:58 pm
Artesians driving and working along Main Street Thursday afternoon learned a little more about one local man than they ever wanted to know.
Just before 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Artesia Police Department officers were dispatched in response to a male subject running naked in the street.
Corresponding reports from residents who’d spotted the man began making their way onto social media soon after, with one video shot from around 12th and Main streets showing the individual jogging west down the center of Main, a line of trepidatious drivers moving slowly behind him.
According to the criminal complaint, the man – identified as 21-year-old Devin Leary of Artesia – stopped at that same intersection, dropped to the street, and laid on his back. Officers stated they could tell Leary was “under the influence of something.”
Prior to making his way onto Main, Leary had been spotted in the areas of 10th Street and Dallas Avenue and Artesia High School. He had also encountered a Community Service Officer along his path, jumping onto the hood of the patrol vehicle, rolling off, then head-butting the driver’s side window three times, cracking the glass.
Once Leary laid down, officers were able to detain him and place him in the back of a police unit while they awaited the arrival of EMS. According to the complaint, Leary stated he had taken methamphetamine. He was transported to Artesia General Hospital. Prior to being removed from the patrol vehicle, Leary reportedly kicked the left rear door twice, bending it outward.
Leary was subsequently arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and two counts of criminal damage to property. He is scheduled for a Feb. 12 pretrial conference in Artesia Magistrate Court.
Leary was not charged with indecent exposure in connection with the incident, which APD Cmdr. Lindell Smith says stems from the fact that a specific victim must come forward in order for an indecent exposure charge to be levied.
“If a victim would like to come forward and name themselves, we would consider conferring with the District Attorney about filing indecent exposure,” Smith said today. “[The police] cannot be the victim of indecent exposure, both because we are not the public when we discharge our duties and we are expected by the Supreme Court to have thick skin in dealing with things.”
Smith said a specific witness willing to be identified by name as well as face the accused in court in order to provide testimony regarding what they witnessed is needed before that charge could be filed.
“The defendant was obviously in crisis and admitted to using drugs,” Smith said. “Hopefully, he can get some help with these things.”