Deputies arrest alleged armed carjacker in Costilla area

Daniel Gutierrez was charged with stealing a motor vehicle, his second offense; aggravated battery; aggravated assault; and damage to property. He was incarcerated in the Taos County Adult Detention Center that night and is there on a no-bond hold. (Courtesy Photo)

Taos County sheriff’s deputies arrested and charged 36-year-old Bosque Farms resident Daniel Gutierrez in connection to an armed carjacking that took place in the Costilla area on Thursday (Aug. 31).

Daniel Rivera, a Costilla resident, was driving along State Road 522 in a 2003 Ford pickup Thursday evening when he encountered Gutierrez in the roadway, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

Gutierrez flagged the vehicle down, and Rivera came to a stop.

Gutierrez then allegedly opened the pickup’s passenger-side door, leaped into the seat and produced a handgun, pointing it at Rivera and demanding he get out of the vehicle. He then allegedly hit Rivera in the face. Sometime during the altercation, the driver-side door was opened and Gutierrez was able to gain control of the vehicle, though the press release does not provide detail as to how this occurred. He hit the accelerator as Rivera clung to the outside of the vehicle and was dragged for a “short distance,” according to the press release. Rivera called law enforcement and reported the description of the stolen vehicle and the armed suspect. Taos Central Dispatch relayed on emergency channels that a stolen pickup was last seen headed southbound on State Road 522.

Two deputies responded and encountered the vehicle traveling along the highway at speeds close to 100 miles per hour. They pursued Gutierrez for several miles before he came to a stop and surrendered.

Gutierrez was arrested without incident, though no firearm was recovered on his person, in the vehicle or along the roadway. When the pickup was returned to Rivera, he discovered that the engine had “mechanical problems.”

Gutierrez was charged with stealing a motor vehicle, his second offense; aggravated battery; aggravated assault; and damage to property. He was incarcerated in the Taos County Adult Detention Center that night and is there on a no-bond hold.