Police: Officer injured while responding to call

PNT Staff

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 the a camper on Sotelo’s father’s property— was used to report a hoax robbery at Portales National Bank.

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),” Berry said.

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 twisted his knee in the fall and was transported to Roosevelt General Hospital, Berry said.

By 6 p.m. physicians were preparing to release Hamner.

“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 backyard of Sotelo’s father’s house.

Police intend to check the numbers of cell phones found in the camper to determine if there is a match to the phone that made Friday’s robbery hoax call.