Police nab wanted suspect in UNMH escape

Jason Smith
Jason Smith

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A suspect who gave police the slip more than once is back behind bars. Deputies say Jason Smith’s acting helped him get away in the first place, but he couldn’t outrun them forever.

Smith was originally arrested by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office after deputies say he rammed several patrol cars over the span of two days. He crashed into a ravine the second time and deputies took him to UNM Hospital.

His injuries appeared significant enough that doctors told BCSO Smith couldn’t sit up and would need to spend weeks in rehab before he could walk.

Deputies decided not to guard him 24 hours a day, only checking in on him occasionally.

“That was an assessment based on the medical advice…an assessment I made based on the medical advice and obviously in retrospect Mr. Smith is a pretty good actor apparently,” Capt. Edward Mims said.

It turns out Smith could walk and he walked right out of the hospital, stole a van and evaded UNM police.

It took deputies three days to track Smith down again. They said they nabbed him in another stolen truck Friday night near Tramway and Central.

Smith was taken to Metropolitan Detention Center.

Deputies said they are still looking into how smith escaped UNM Hospital and will review their policy on how they guard suspects who need medical care.

Smith is facing a string of charges including aggravated assault and aggravated fleeing from law enforcement.

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