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Delbert Romero Arrested Following Police Chase

on December 21, 2017 - 5:00am
Los Alamos Daily Post

Delbert J. Romero, 35, of Los Alamos has been charged with reckless driving, careless driving, resisting an officer by refusing to bring a vehicle to a stop and three other charges following a Dec. 15 incident where he led police in a low speed chase through the downtown area.

Court documents filed by Los Alamos Police Cpl. Ben Irving indicate that at around 2:45 p.m., he was dispatched to investigate a reckless driver in a 1997 black Mustang bearing the registration plate ZIONDNA. Irving’s report said he stepped out on the south side of the police station in time to observe a black Mustang cut in front of an oncoming red vehicle causing the red vehicle to engage its brakes so as not to hit the Mustang.

Irving said the red car honked its horn at the Mustang, at which point he observed the Mustang “swing around in a wide U-turn” through nearby parking lots, revving its engine loudly while doing so and race back onto Trinity “in what appeared to be an attempt to catch up to the red vehicle”.

Irving drove onto eastbound Trinity Drive in an effort to stop the Mustang but was unable to locate it. His statement of probable cause said he heard Cpl. Jaime Gonzales say on the radio that he saw the Mustang leaving the Smith’s Marketplace parking lot and cutting across from the far lane of westbound Trinity Drive through the intersection onto northbound Knecht Street.

At this point, Gonzales engaged his emergency lights and siren. Then he observed the Mustang run a stop sign at the intersection of Knecht and Central Avenue causing westbound traffic to come to a stop to avoid an accident. Gonzales followed the Mustang in slow pursuit as the driver was refusing to stop. He also engaged the public address system on his patrol unit to order the driver to stop to no avail.

The driver turned south onto Oppenheimer without signaling. Irving then engaged his lights and siren, cleared the intersection of Trinity and Oppenheimer and drove northbound onto Oppenheimer in the southbound lane.

Irving’s report said as the Mustang approached him, he could observe he driver looking to the right and left of his vehicle in order to pass him. He said he stopped his vehicle in a perpendicular position in the roadway to prevent the Mustang’s escape. He said the vehicle “finally stopped when confronted with this maneuver” and he ordered the driver to turn off the vehicle and get out.

The registration plate matched the report made to LAPD Dispatch and the reporting party indicated the driver was wearing a green shirt. Irving identified the driver as Delbert Romero.

In addition to the reckless driving, careless driving and resisting an officer by refusing to bring a vehicle to a stop, Romero was charged with exhibition of speed, failure to maintain his lane, running a stop sign and failure to use his turning signal.

Romero was released on his own recognizance with conditions of release imposed. He was arraigned Dec. 18 in Los Alamos Magistrate Court and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Jan. 17, 2018.