Online Exclusive

Man Hits N.M. Police Car in Alleged Fourth DWI

SILVER CITY - A Silver City man crashed into the back of a Santa Clara police car over the Fourth of July weekend and was arrested for his fourth DWI, a fourth-degree felony.

Isaac Rosales, 49, was arrested at 11 p.m. Saturday after he plowed into the rear end of Santa Clara Police Chief Lonnie Sandoval's parked patrol car on Highway 180. Rosales allegedly had an open can of Budweiser between his legs, according to the criminal complaint filed in Bayard Magistrate Court on July 5.

Chief Sandoval said he and a Bayard Police officer were conducting a traffic stop on Highway 180 near mile marker 121 westbound, when another vehicle traveling in the same direction crashed into his vehicle and pushed it into the Bayard unit. The Santa Clara unit did have its emergency lights on, court documents state. Both officers were out of their vehicles and were not injured, Sandoval said.

Rosales was examined at the scene for injuries, and then put through the standardized field sobriety test, which he failed. He refused a breath test and was placed under arrest and taken to the State Police office for booking paperwork and cleared at Gila Regional Medical Center, before being booked into the Grant County Detention Center on five charges including: failure to carry evidence of insurance, failure to use a seatbelt, aggravated DWI (4th or subsequent offense), careless driving, and having an open container. Bayard Magistrate Judge Hector Grijalva released Rosales from jail on Monday on an unsecured appearance bond of $5,800.

Rosales has been arrested at least three previous times for DWI, according . In 1985, he pleaded guilty/nolo contendere to DWI and served 48 hours in jail. A 1994 arrest for DWI appears to have been excused, according to the New Mexico Courts website. In 1998, Rosales was again arrested for DWI and in that case, the website reports that it was Rosales' third DWI. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with 334 suspended, for a total of 30 days in the Grant County Detention Center. He also completed 85 hours of community service in that case. A charge of driving while his license was suspended or revoked was dismissed in that case.

In 2002, Rosales was arrested again for DWI, driving with a suspended or revoked license and no insurance or registration. He pleaded guilty to the DWI charge, while the other three charges were dismissed in that case.

He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with 334 days suspended, and fined $1,000 with $250 suspended, and court-ordered to attend intensive outpatient counseling with Southwest Psychology Associates. He also completed three hours of community service in that case. His obligations in that case were met in March 2004.

In 2007, he petitioned the state Taxation and Revenue Motor Vehicle Division to receive his license back and was granted that on July 2, 2007.

Christine Steele can be reached at (575) 538-5893 ext. 5802.