According to Albuquerque police, a state employee left their work vehicle running and unsecured at the fairgrounds on Monday before it was stolen by a man who slammed into an SUV and seriously hurt a father and a child.
In connection with the collision, John Bearden Jr., 37, is accused of fleeing the scene of an accident, auto theft, and two charges of grievous bodily harm by automobile.
According to court documents, the crash left the 10-year-old girl “unable to breathe on her own” and the 43-year-old male with a brain bleed, a shattered leg and pelvis, and internal injuries.
The girl was still in critical condition on Tuesday, according to Gilbert Gallegos, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department.
The reason the state-owned car was left unlocked with the keys in the ignition and whether the person who did so worked at Expo New Mexico is unknown.
An Expo New Mexico spokesman answered an inquiry for comment on Tuesday.
The Albuquerque Police Department regularly issues warnings about leaving running automobiles unattended. According to APD, 268 cars were reported stolen, with the keys still inside, in the first half of 2022.
Based on a criminal complaint brought before Metropolitan Court:
According to the complaint, when police arrived at the collision scene near San Pedro and Bell SE around 7:45 a.m., they discovered an unconscious male and a girl trapped within the SUV’s wreckage.
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Leaving the state-owned car, Bearden sprinted through backyards before taking cover in a shed and was apprehended.
According to police, the state employee who left the car running forgot to turn off their cellphone, which had been alerted to “a likely crash” near the spot where it was discovered.
When Bearden observed the abandoned car, “three different persons,” he said on the phone, encouraged him to steal it “and get out of the neighborhood.”
“Bearden also stated he currently relapsed on methamphetamine,” according to the complaint.
According to the police, Bearden claimed he became lost after stealing the Vehicle because he could not see the Sandia Mountains. He claimed that before crashing, he raced through residential areas.
The complaint claims that Bearden could not sit still and grind his teeth while refusing to submit to a sobriety test.
Bearden told police, “I don’t do drugs, drugs do me.”
Detectives drew Bearden’s blood after obtaining a search warrant, but the results were not included in the criminal complaint.
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For almost 4 years, Jason Martin has been a freelance writer for newspapers, journals, blogs, books, and online material. He covers the most recent news as well as many other topics.