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Farmington police release video of alleged vehicular assault on officer

Farmington Police Department officers approach a truck driven by Ayianna Lewis. (David Edward Albright/Durango Herald)
Woman, 18, faces five felony charges after vehicle pins officer to car

The Farmington Police Department released a video Wednesday that showed a driver put a pickup truck in reverse and pin an officer against a car before driving away and starting a police pursuit.

Ayianna Lewis, 18, faces five felony and four misdemeanor charges in the case, including causing bodily harm with a vehicle, fleeing an officer and abusing a child. At the time, Lewis was driving with a child while under the influence of alcohol or a drug, police said in a news release.

The pursuit ended when Lewis crashed into a single-wide mobile home.

Both Lewis and police officer Meagan Rascon was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The incident began about 2:15 a.m. when police responded to the scene after a report about a fight near East Elm Street and Dekalb Avenue.

The video and news release revealed that Lewis told officers at the scene that she was going to retrieve a sweater from her vehicle. Instead, she jumped in the truck, started the engine and backed up, pinning Rascon against another vehicle.

She then fled the scene as Rascon collapsed to the ground with significant leg injuries, the news release said. Officers were notified that Lewis had a 7-year-old child in the vehicle that was not hers.

Officers attempted to catch up to the vehicle but quickly lost sight as Lewis drove away at a high rate of speed, hitting a second parked vehicle in the process, the news release stated.

A short while later, deputies from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office spotted Lewis, driving an estimated 80 mph. When deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, Lewis hit more than 100 mph while driving north on Troy King Road.

She then crashed into the trailer, and the vehicle came to rest inside the vacant home. No child was in the vehicle.

During the investigation, officers learned that Lewis had dropped the child off unharmed at a family member’s home after pursuing officers lost sight of the vehicle.

Lewis was arrested and charged with multiple felonies. Charges include:

  • Great bodily harm by vehicle, DUI, a third-degree felony.
  • Abuse of a child not resulting in death or great bodily harm, a third-degree felony.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident with great bodily harm or death, a fourth-degree felony.
  • Aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, with injury, a third-degree felony.
  • Aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, with no injury or great bodily harm, a fourth-degree felony.
  • Battery upon a peace officer, a fourth-degree felony. (Misdemeanor)
  • Driving while intoxicated with a minor, a misdemeanor.
  • Resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.
  • No driver’s license, a misdemeanor.
Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe

In a video, Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe called attention to the dangers officers “face every day on the street” and emphasized that a response can quickly escalate.

“Just that fast, it all turned bad, and the officers were very fortunate not to have been killed or more seriously injured,” Hebbe stated.

He lamented that such incidents, although seen repeatedly on video, sometimes are quickly forgotten.

“But when you watch the video and you see in slow motion how badly our officer was hit and how she flops down to the ground as the truck pins her against the other vehicle, it really should reinforce to every one of us that our men and women in blue deserve your support and need your support to help keep our streets safe,” Hebbe said.

He also expressed relief that Rascon was not more severely injured and will soon return to light duty.