Officer injured during arrest

Freedom New Mexico

Police believe a 31-year-old Portales man wanted to stay out of jail so much, he reported a fake bank robbery.

Now Rudolfo “Rudy” Sotelo Jr., 31, is in custody and facing new charges after he knocked down and injured a Portales police officer attempting to take him in to custody Wednesday afternoon.

Police believe it is the second time in a week Sotelo attempted to out-maneuver officers attempting to arrest him.

Friday, a cell phone — tracked to the alley behind a camper on Sotelo’s father’s property— was used to report a hoax robbery at Portales National Bank.

Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said the bogus bank robbery call came in to dispatchers as officers arrived at the camper in the back yard of a Main Street home to arrest Sotelo, “and we felt like this could have been a distraction to get police away from (the camper).”

Around 4 p.m. Wednesday, police officers and probation officers went to the camper again to serve a bench warrant, Berry said.

Sotelo attempted to flee and in the process, knocked officer Fred Hamner down.

Hamner, 57, twisted his knee in the fall. He was treated at Roosevelt General Hospital and later released, Berry said.

“He’s going home tonight,” Berry said. “Don’t know how long he’ll be out (from duty), but he’s going home tonight.”

Sotelo was on probation for aggravated DWI and drug paraphernalia.

The camper was in the back yard of Sotelo’s father’s house.

Berry said police have confirmed the cell phone they found Wednesday is a match to the phone that made Friday’s robbery hoax call.