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Deputy's Struggle With Suspect Highlights Law Enforcement Challenges In Montezuma County

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It took 15 minutes for back-up help to arrive and assist a Montezuma County Sheriff’s deputy wrestling with a suspect trying to take his weapons.

Sheriff Steve Nowlin told the county commissioners Monday that Deputy Victor Galarza injured his shoulder in the fight, which took place August 1st outside a home on Highway 184. According to police reports, a woman had called for help because a neighbor with whom she’d had problems was trying to get in her house. When Galarza arrived, he reportedly took a knife from the 250-pound, muscular suspect, who then resisted the deputy’s efforts to pat him down and handcuff him. The two reportedly wound up fighting on the ground, as the suspect tried to grab Galarza’s gun and Taser. The man was not subdued and arrested until help came. Nowlin said crime is increasing along with the county’s population, and deputies are spread thin. He said, “If you’ve ever been in a fight, 15 minutes is too long."

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