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Police: Man fled officer, became stuck in ditch

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A Placitas man is accused of leading State Police on a high-speed chase Saturday, but the pursuit ended when he had to be rescued from the ditch where he'd fled on foot, according to a news release from State Police.

About 3:20 a.m. Saturday, a State Police officer was patrolling northbound I-25 just south of Bernalillo when he saw a four-door silver car traveling very slowly. The officer checked the license plate and learned the vehicle had been stolen June 19.

After the officer stopped the car, the driver, later identified as 29-year-old Matthew Hothan of Placitas, asked why he was stopped, according to the release. The officer told him he'd be informed momentarily.

Police say Hothan closed the door and sped off.

The ensuing pursuit reached speeds of 60 mph. The vehicle exited at the south Bernalillo exit and sped onto South Hill Road, the release said.

After several turns, the driver stopped on a dirt ditch bank on Melissa Road. Hothan and "numerous" passengers fled on foot, police say.

The officer followed Hothan down a ditch bank, where Hothan jumped into water up to his knees, according to the release.

Hothan complained his ankle hurt and he couldn't get back up the steep embankment.

Hothan was pulled from the water and arrested without further incident, police say. He is charged with receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, felon in possession of a handgun, aggravated fleeing law enforcement officers, possession of burglary tools and a third offense of aggravated DWI.

He was booked into Sandoval County Detention Center.

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