ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A pregnant woman hit by a speeding car that ran a red light wants to know why police didn’t try to pull the driver over before the crash.
The criminal complaint states the incident started earlier that night on May 31.
Two officers ran the temporary tag of a gray sedan parked at a McDonald’s at San Mateo and Gibson. That showed the plates belonged to another car.
The officers followed the driver and two passengers from a distance then said they tried to play catchup for four blocks, but never attempted a traffic stop.
“Unfortunately, criminals do stupid and strange things. [The driver] probably saw the police unit behind her and she decided she was going to go through that red light without the officers ever attempting to engage her,” said Tanner Tixier with APD.
Police said the driver sped through the light at Kathryn, smashing into a couple in a black sedan.
The woman who was hit suffered four cracked ribs. She was nine months pregnant and said she lost her baby.
After the crash, a passenger in the gray sedan was arrested on the spot and police found heroin needles in his pockets.
The driver, Crystal Mascarenas, and another passenger, Jovan McGaughy, tried to walk away from the crash scene.
Mascarenas was found quickly in a nearby alley with an injured arm and McGaughy was found hiding in a backyard.
They both gave police false names.
In an email to KRQE News 13, the couple that was hit said lawyers won’t look into their case against APD for not pulling over the car before the crash.
However, police said stolen temp tags are not grounds for a chase, and in this case, officers weren’t close enough to pull the car over.
“The officers didn’t even attempt to have a chance to pull the car over as they were getting in position. We can’t commit to a traffic stop when we’re 300 yards behind a vehicle,” Tixier said. We’ve got to be reasonably close to a vehicle to let them know that they are, in fact, the people we are trying to pull over.”
Both the driver and her two passengers were arrested.
Mascarenas was charged with leaving the scene of a crash with an injury. She was released from jail then was arrested on Sept. 5 for having a stolen gun.