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Officer’s gun fires during struggle with suspect

SANTA FE — A Santa Fe Police officer’s gun discharged in a struggle with a suspect who managed to briefly escape from police custody Tuesday morning, a Santa Fe city government spokesman says. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office is now investigating the incident.

Robert Noedel, 26, was arrested on Chavez Place around 9 a.m. Tuesday on an outstanding warrant while he was also sleeping in a car that also was reported stolen, according to spokesman Matt Ross. While Noedel was being transported, he was able to get out of his handcuffs and opened the police car doors by reaching through the window bars.

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Robert Noedel

Noedel then attempted to steal an unoccupied car that was parked at the Giant gas station on Cerrillos Road and Baca Street, but an officer prevented Noedel from taking the car and a struggle ensued.

“Mr. Noedel attempted to disarm the officer and the officer’s duty pistol discharged,” Ross wrote in a statement.

It’s unclear whether who fired the weapon or whether it went off accidentally.

Both Noedel and the officer suffered minor abrasions. No one from the sheriff’s office could be reached for comment Tuesday.

Noedel has a long criminal record on mostly minor charges in Santa Fe since 2010. He has been charged six time for escaping or evading police or resisting arrest and booked into the county jail about 25 times.

His other charges have included burglary of a vehicle, non-residential burglary, larceny, possession of a controlled substance and distribution of marijuana. He was in jail from Jan. 1 to May 7 after an arrest on charges that included receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle.

For Tuesday’s incident, he’s charged with resisting or evading an officer, attempt to commit a felony, disarming a police officer, escape from custody and failure to comply.

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