Clovis Man Sentenced to One Year for Hitting Police Officer
Ninth Judicial District Attorney, Andrea Reeb, announced that Jose Gonzalez, age 31, of Clovis, NM, pleaded no contest today to the felony charge of Battery on a Peace Officer. A jury was selected yesterday for what was to be a one day trial beginning today, Tuesday, August 18th. Gonzalez opted to plead no contest this morning prior to opening statements without any agreement from the prosecution.
In December of 2014, after a high speed pursuit, Gonzalez, who was in the back seat of a vehicle, jumped out of the vehicle and ran from Clovis Police officers. During the foot pursuit, Officer Dianne Flores was able to tackle Gonzales, who then attempted to punch the officer in the face. Flores was able to let go in time for the intended punch to only graze her face. Gonzalez was able to run away. A warrant was issued and Gonzalez was apprehended a few days later.
The Honorable Fred Van Soelen presided over the hearing and ordered Gonzalez to serve (1) one year in prison. The Honorable Fred Van Soelen stated, “This is not a difficult sentence to impose. Drinking is not an excuse for your actions. Police officers face dangers every day. I hope this one year sentence in the Department of Corrections sends a message that you don’t fight with the police, you don’t run from the police, and you never hit a police officer.” The Court ordered Gonzalez into custody for transport to the Department of Corrections. The defendant is currently pending drug trafficking charges and is on probation for a DWI.
District Attorney, Andrea Reeb, stated, “This is a just sentence for what occurred to Officer Flores. Law enforcement officers risk their lives daily for our safety. For the Judge to send a message that this type of activity will not be tolerated against our local law enforcement helps validate that the Honorable Van Soelen understands the dangers law enforcement encounter on a daily basis."
Assistant District Attorney Kristen Beltran and Laura Talbert prosecuted the case for the State of New Mexico, and criminal defense attorney Thomas Harden, represented the defendant.
For more information, please contact the District Attorney’s Office at 575-769-2246.