The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Police identify man shot by deputies


January 17, 2018

PORTALES — State police on Tuesday released the name of the man shot by deputies in Roosevelt County after leading officers on a chase in a front-end loader.

James Wallace McFarlin, 48, of Portales, was in police custody while recovering from "non life-threatening injuries" at University Medical Center in Lubbock, according to New Mexico State Police Public Information Officer Carl Christiansen.

NMSP is investigating the incident, which originated shortly before noon Monday when Roosevelt County Sheriff Deputies were informed "of a suspect attempting to flip over a car with a front-end loader at Cottonwood Place," said a press release Tuesday.

McFarlin "refused to stop for deputies" after they arrived on scene, commencing a pursuit in which he drove through three fences and into an open field near the intersection of 18th and Kilgore streets in southeast Portales.

"Sheriff's Office personnel pursued the suspect and during the confrontation Mr. McFarlin was shot by deputies," said the release.

Juan Espinoza said he recognized McFarlin as his neighbor of almost a year at Cottonwood Place on Monday at the start of the incident, observed and filmed by many nearby residents behind the safety of their windows.

"We had heard some noises outside and I looked outside and he was in a tractor flipping his gray jeep around," he told The News on Tuesday. "That's what he did, and he just continued to do that and then he went up and down the street real fast. When the cops showed up he just took off on the tractor."

Espinoza said he only saw McFarlin targeting his own property, flipping over the jeep multiple times and breaking windows on his residence. He said he had no idea what prompted the unusual outburst, but saw him arguing earlier with another neighbor.

When deputies arrives, McFarlin took off in the other direction.

"I would imagine (a deputy cruiser to be faster than a tractor), but I don't think they got too close because it's a heavy duty machine and could have done some damage," he said.

Kendall McDaniel told The News on Monday he encountered McFarlin emerging from the scene of the initial damage while in police pursuit. He said McFarlin was smiling while driving erratically and looked like he had "just lost his mind."

Records from the Roosevelt County Appraiser office show McFarlin has a residence on the 1500 block of Cottonwood Place.

NMSP declined Tuesday to answer additional questions on the incident, citing concern of compromising the ongoing investigation.

Christiansen said Monday no officers were injured in the incident.


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