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APD: Officer fired gun during struggle with suspect

David Crespin, 31 (MDC)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police say an officer’s rifle went off during a “severe struggle” with a stolen car suspect in a Northeast Albuquerque parking lot Thursday night.

A police spokesman told the Journal on Thursday night that the incident was possibly a case of “accidental discharge” and is being investigated as an officer-involved shooting.

The suspect, 31-year-old David Crespin, was not hit by gunfire but was taken to the hospital for “use of force” injuries suffered during the struggle, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. He has since been booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on aggravated assault against a police officer with a deadly weapon, drug possession and stolen vehicle charges.

Police say the shooting unfolded after Crespin led officers on a foot chase in the area of Montgomery and San Mateo NE following a stolen vehicle pursuit.

According to the criminal complaint, a woman called 911 on Thursday night to report seeing her stolen car – with several people inside – at a Starbucks near Central and Eubank.

When officers tried to pull the car over it sped off as a woman screamed, “Stop let me out,” from inside the vehicle, and police believed a kidnapping had taken place.

Police say the woman inside the car called 911 and said she was being held against her will at the Casa Bonita Apartments, near Montgomery and San Mateo.

“Surveillance was established on the apartment complex in an attempt to identify the victims location and possible hostage rescue,” an officer wrote.

The complaint says officers saw Crespin, the woman who called police and another man outside the complex, and Crespin ran from police when they approached.

Police say Crespin ran across San Mateo and tried to carjack someone before police caught up with him. Crespin grabbed for an officer’s rifle and a “severe struggle” ensued before a round was fired from the rifle into the ground.

Officers used a Taser on Crespin and he was arrested. Police found “user amounts” of heroin and methamphetamine in his pockets, according to the court document.

Crespin told police he bought the stolen car from a “crackhead” for $20 and he ran from officers because he was afraid to go to jail. The woman who reported being kidnapped said she was “in fear for her life” and tried to get out of the car during the chase but refused to press charges against Crespin.