AP NEWS

New Mexico police: Man waved from stolen motorcycle during pursuit

April 21, 2019

A Santa Fe man driving a stolen motorcycle eluded state police following a brief chase Friday morning onto Interstate 25, waving at the officers as he blew by them, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

But the cheeky motorcyclist also got so close to the officers that they could clearly see his face.

The incident began about 10:30 a.m. north of Santa Fe, said Officer Dusty Francisco, a spokesman for New Mexico State Police.

An arrest warrant affidavit for Jay Wagers, 23, filed later Friday in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court, said officers were radioed about a person wanted on suspicion of criminal trespassing who was traveling southbound on I-25 from Ilfeld on a BMW motorcycle with black saddle bags.

The officers spotted the motorcycle near the Glorieta area and followed it, the court document said. The motorcycle exited the highway a couple of miles later.

After checking the motorcycle’s registration information, the affidavit said, the officers discovered it had been stolen in Santa Fe. They tried to pull the driver over, but he turned and drove past them, “where I observed a clear facial identification,” state police Officer Thomas McClelland wrote in the affidavit.

As the motorcycle driver — a tall, slender man with short blond hair, wearing a gray hoodie — passed the officers, he waved at them and continued back onto I-25, McClelland said.

After the man ignored the officers’ commands to pull over, they pursued him for about two miles, McClellend wrote, and he continued waving at them multiple times.

Officers contacted the regional dispatch center with a description of the driver. The center sent a photo of Wagers, and McClelland confirmed he was the man the officers had seen on the motorcycle, according to the affidavit.

Francisco said state police called off the chase, which did not exceed the highway’s speed limit, as it neared Santa Fe, partly because of the danger involved in motorcycle pursuits and also because the suspect had been identified.

Wagers had not been arrested as of Saturday, according to Francisco.

He has a prior conviction for motor vehicle theft, criminal damage to property and evading officers in a 2015 case, and an open case accusing him of battery against a police officer, assault and resisting arrest in March, court records show.

Wagers also was arrested April 5 on suspicion of stealing another motorcycle belonging to a Santa Fe woman, according to court records. He was released from jail Wednesday on a $2,500 unsecured appearance bond in that case, for which he is facing a charge of receiving stolen property, court and jail records show.