LAS CRUCES- A man suspected multiple hit-and-runs Monday evening is in the hospital and facing charges after he slashed his own throat when police attempted to arrest him.
Pete Nanez Uranga, 34, remains at University Medical Center of El Paso where he is being treated for multiple self-inflicted stab wounds to his neck. His injuries do not appear to be life-threatening though he remains hospitalized under an emergency order of protection.
Shortly before 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, Las Cruces Police were summoned to Main Street and Willoughby Avenue where private citizens stopped a Chevy Suburban after it rammed a Chevy Tahoe and pushed it several hundred feet. The driver of the Suburban, later identified as Uranga, remained in the vehicle as officers arrived.
As the first-arriving police officer approached the Suburban he noticed Uranga, sitting in the driver’s seat, screaming hysterically and using a knife to slash his own throat. The officer, along with two other LCPD officers who arrived, gave multiple commands for Uranga to drop the knife and stop cutting himself but they were initially unsuccessful.
Officers ultimately broke out two windows and deployed a Taser to help subdue a bloodied and seriously injured Uranga. The officers and a crew from Emergency Medical Response then rendered first aid before Uranga was flown to University Medical Center.
LCPD detectives believe that, prior to the crash at Main and Willoughby, Uranga struck other vehicles near the intersections of Solano Drive and Spruce Avenue, and Main Street and Ethel Avenue. One woman in a vehicle struck by Uranga was transported to a local hospital with relatively minor injuries. Other witnesses to Monday evening’s incidents are encouraged to contact police at (575) 526-0795.
Uranga is charged with two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and will be arrested on a warrant following his release from the hospital. Additional charges are possible. Police suspect Uranga may have been under the influence of illicit drugs.