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Officer ‘feared for his life’

SANTA FE, N.M. — A State Police officer feared for his life before a New York man, who was traveling the wrong way on Interstate 25 near Las Vegas, N.M., was shot by police on Saturday night, according to a criminal complaint.

Albert Urban, 72, of Hamburg, N.Y., remains in an Albuquerque hospital in stable condition. Urban was shot after police said he drove “aggressively” towards them and after they first attempted to use “stop strips” and then stopped his 2011 Ford van with a close-up maneuver. Urban was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes when about 20 calls came in on 911 lines telling police of the situation at about 10:40 p.m.

Urban agreed to an interview with police but was “not lucid,” said a criminal complaint filed Monday in San Miguel Magistrate Court. “He (Urban) was unable to tell me where he came from, where he was traveling to, and what happened. Albert believed he was in Buffalo, New York when he was actually in Las Vegas, New Mexico.”

After the close-up maneuver rolled the van once and it came to rest on its wheels, officer Jonathan Wright got out of his patrol car and the “Ford’s wheels spun as it accelerated towards Wright’s (patrol) unit.” It “struck the front end … pushing it back approximately one foot,” the court documents said.

Officer Raymond Montoya “feared for his life and was going to shoot” Urban but Wright fired first, said the documents.


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The van’s speed fluctuated during the pursuit but averaged about 60 mph and the incident continued for about six miles before it concluded. Officers reported passing 10 to 20 vehicles while trying to stop the van.

Urban has been charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer and one felony count of aggravated fleeing. Bond is set at $100,000, cash only.