A 39-year-old man suspected of ramming his pickup into another vehicle during a road rage incident Wednesday evening has been charged with child abuse.
Anthony James Baca, 39, of the 1900 block of Stanton Avenue, is charged with two third-degree felony counts of child abuse and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a fourth-degree felony.
At about 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, a Las Cruces police officer was taking an unrelated report in the parking lot of the Walmart store on Walton Boulevard when he observed an aggressive driver behind the wheel of a Ford pickup and apparently following a black SUV. The officer then observed the pickup accelerate and slam into the driver’s side of the SUV.
The officer gave commands for the pickup driver to stop but the driver, later identified as Baca, drove away and led officers on a brief pursuit along Griggs Avenue and Triviz Drive. Officers finally conducted a high-risk stop on the pickup near the intersection of Triviz and Griggs. Baca was taken into custody and his female passenger was detained for questioning.
Investigators learned that Baca became upset when his vehicle was cut off by the SUV near the ballparks on Hadley Avenue. Investigators believe Baca caught up to the SUV on Triviz and followed it into the parking lot of Walmart where he slammed his pickup into the side of the SUV.
The SUV was occupied by a man and his two sons. The man’s sons, ages 14 and 9, were in the backseat of the SUV during the incident. The SUV sustained heavy damage to the driver’s side but no major injuries were reported.
Baca was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he’s initially being held without bond.