Las Cruces Police Make Fast Arrest in Road Rage Incident

On April 9, 2019 officers of the Las Cruces Police Department arrested Adam Cardenas Jr., 23, and charged him with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — a fourth-degree felony.

Investigators learned that a woman had been traveling east on Lohman Avenue about 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 9, when her car was nearly struck by an SUV that drifted into her lane. The woman told police she sounded her vehicle’s horn to avoid a crash. In response, the SUV slowed down until it was next to her vehicle, at which point the passenger of the SUV leaned out of his window and pointed a handgun at the woman. Classy.

A Las Cruces police officer spotted a vehicle partially matching the description provided by the woman, and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle near Spruce Avenue and Wingate Court. The passenger was identified as Cardenas.

Cardenas quickly denied being in possession of any weapons, but officers didn’t take his word for it and (surprise!) Cardenas changed his mind once a pat down was underway, revealing that he was carrying a 9mm handgun in his waistband. The gun had a round in the chamber and a loaded magazine was recovered from the passenger-side of the Tahoe.

Cardenas was arrested and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center. No charges were filed against the driver of the SUV.

Correction: The video description initially stated that Cardenas has denied being in possession of a firearm. That was inaccurate, and the description has been updated.

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26 thoughts on “Las Cruces Police Make Fast Arrest in Road Rage Incident

  1. Update: On May 22, 2019 Las Cruces police announced the arrest of two of the men believed to be responsible for a May 13 shooting on Independence Loop, and the issuance of an arrest warrant for a third.

    Adam Cardenas Jr., 23, and Robert Montoya, 20, were arrested and warrant was issued for the arrest of Estevan Miguel Jimenez, 21, who was also involved and is the brother to one of the victims of the shooting. The identity of a fourth suspect was still unknown at the time the arrests were made public.

    All three were charged with three third-degree felony counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, five fourth-degree felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two felony counts of conspiracy, and misdemeanor counts of negligent use of a firearm and evading or obstructing an officer.

    About 1 a.m. Monday, May 13, police were dispatched to the reports of shots fired on the 4200 block of Independence Loop. Officers learned that two men, ages 19 and 22, and a 20-year-old woman were injured and transported to area hospitals. Their injuries were relatively minor.

    Investigators learned that an ongoing dispute between Jimenez and a 22-year-old man who is dating Jimenez’s sister is what led to the early-morning affray and shooting.

    Investigators believe Jimenez, Cardenas, Montoya and one other man went to a home on the 4200 block of Independence Loop so Jimenez could fight the 22-year-old man. The suspects allegedly arrived at the home armed with firearms. Jimenez and the 22-year-old man engaged in a fist fight that ended with Jimenez knocked to the ground. Investigators learned that when Jimenez went to the ground, his friends opened fire striking the 22-year-old man, his 20-year-old girlfriend who is Jimenez’s sister, and the 22-year-old man’s brother who is 20 years old.

    After the initial shooting, the suspects boarded Jimenez’s white Dodger Challenger and fled. Witnesses told police that Jimenez opened fire at the victims as he drove away. Responding officers tried to stop the Challenger but the four men abandoned it on Wildhollow Court and fled on foot. Cardenas and Montoya were located and taken into custody. Estevan Miguel Jimenez was located and arrested on July 17, 2019.

  2. Even after huffing air cleaner propellant, to make him high out of his skull, at least he had enough working brain cells to plead the 5th.

    Interestingly enough, even if you know you're innocent, nearly all defense attorneys will tell you to be polite, but give as little as necessary, and only speak when an attorney is present, but not before talking to them first, in private.

    Yes, it make you feel like it's sign of guilt, pleading the 5th, and asking for an attorney first, before answering any more questions, but frequently it's just a sensible precaution, and any decent peace officer, especially one whom is a veteran in that department, won't take offence to such.

    So why do it at all …? Well, one of the lesser known fact is that, given the complete patchwork quilt which is County police/Sheriff departments, across the US, there is neither a common set Operational Standard, and certainly nothing even resembling a Federal database of all LEOs at such a 'low' level.

    That means its entirely possible that a rogue, peace officer is able to drift from one department to another, without their Unfit for Duty/Conduct Unbecoming, etc, following with them, due to the completely fragmentary systems in place.

    Also, and I was shocked when I found this out, such an officer that agrees to depart, unless their conduct is to the point they're arrested, they are given neutral, or slightly positive, references when agreeing to resign. So prevalent is this, amongst Department Chiefs, and Sheriffs, the term 'passing the trash', has long been coined, and used …

    Very often, these 'gypsy' officers move to a County PD too small to have a IA branch, especially given some County/Sheriff Departments have less than a dozen patrol officers. So they are more than willing to taken on an extra officer … until s/he shows not only badge heavy, but also, inclusive to that, is belligerent to civilians; is heavy handed when dealing with barely marginal infractions (such as the tyres barely touching a solid solid yellow line); and much else besides.

    Such 'gypsy' officers — so called after the traditional habit of Romani of that of constantly moving from place to place, means they're able to drift from one County Police/Sheriff's Department, to the next, either within the State, or moving to an entirely different State, altogether, without that aforementioned bad conduct following them.

    Unless/until there is an Office of the Inspectors General, with oversight of, and over, the entire network of peace officers, the least that can/should be done, is a Federal database of all peace officers, to which the highest ranking officer within a particular department, can access, and upload to, co-managed by the FBI, to ensure any officer with a string of bad conduct reports by his/hers C/O can be registered to.

    Equally, if any peace officer has proven to be outstanding in performance, but is moving departments, due to personal reasons, that too should be recorded, so the head of the new department knows what to expect, once the transfer is completed.

    Unfortunately, it is that unknowing which leads, in part, as to why defence attorneys say plead the 5th, as quickly as you are able, until you have legal representation, as you may never know the calibre of officer/s you're dealing with …

  3. I’m curious, they had a report of a gun involved yet cop walks right up to car ? In contrast,I’ve seen many similar incidents with reported gun involved where cops do felony stop. Without sounding sarcastic,how is this different?

  4. I sort of skipped around the video; what grounds did they have for arresting the guy?

    Or perhaps more importantly: what grounds did they have to stop him, detain him and have the lady press charges?

    Is there a dashcam video of this happening?🤔

    Thanks!

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