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Garcia held on third-degree felony charge after reportedly running down Artesia man

By EMIL WHITIS
Daily Press Staff Writer

An Artesia woman who allegedly took her children on an off-road vehicle rampage in an attempt to harm a man was arrested Sunday.

Lorena Garcia, 32, has been charged with great bodily harm by vehicle — a third-degree felony — in connection with events that occurred just before 8 p.m. Saturday.

At 8:15 p.m. on the day in question, Artesia Police Department (APD) officers were dispatched to an open field just west of 412 S. 17th street near Lil’ Dawgs Day Care in reference to a report of a woman who had run over a man with a motor vehicle.

According to a criminal complaint filed in magistrate court Monday, a witness reported observing Garcia and a man arguing near a red car parked near Janell’s Beauty Salon.

The victim apparently began walking west in the 1800 block of West Grand Avenue while Garcia and a young man wearing white followed. The man pleaded with Garcia to leave him alone as the boy trailed, allegedly yelling obscenities.

The complaint said the young man then turned back, entered the car and drove it to the Faith Baptist Church parking lot, where he parked. Garcia then reportedly entered the car, “spun a doughnut” in the church parking lot and sped off toward the man who was in a field behind the day care center.

The male began running and Garcia reportedly gave chase in the vehicle. The victim attempted to jump a “solid fence” but was apparently unable to as Garcia exited the car and the two began to argue again.

Garcia allegedly hit the victim with her fist, and he grabbed her arms and pushed her back.

The witness stated the victim attempted to leave but Garcia would not allow it. Having apparently entered the car once again, Garcia “would spin doughnuts around him to keep him right there,” according to the witness’ statement.

Soon after, Garcia reportedly drove directly into the victim, forcing him onto the hood of the car. She reversed, “cut(ting) her wheel real tight,” which caused the man to roll off the hood.

The witness reported hearing Garcia laughing, her children screaming and the boy yelled out “you got him, you finally did it!”

Later, at Artesia General Hospital, the man would not corroborate the witness’ story, saying he broke his leg while attempting to jump a fence.

Garcia was brought to the APD for questioning, where she admitted to driving her car into the field in pursuit of the man — with her children in tow. She and the man had been arguing since earlier in the day, she said.

Garcia said after chasing the man into the field, she called his mother a (an obscenity), at which point he jumped on the hood of the car and attempted to hit her through the driver’s side window.

Garcia claims she “leaned back in (her) seat, put the car in reverse and stepped on the gas,” causing the man to fall off the car.

Garcia stated the man’s leg was not injured when he jumped onto the car, but that she could see it was broken after he fell off.

Garcia is currently being held at the Eddy County Detention Center on a $10,000 surety bond.