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New Mexico cop fired after chaotic traffic stop of minivan

Friday, December 06, 2013
A dashboard camera captured an officer opening fire on a minivan with five kids inside during a traffic stop in New Mexico.

A dashboard camera captured an officer opening fire on a minivan with five kids inside during a traffic stop in New Mexico. (KABC Photo)

The New Mexico police officer has been fired following a dangerous traffic stop that was all caught on a dashboard camera.

The incident on Oct. 28 turned into a wild scene when the driver took off as she was being ticketed for driving 71 mph in a 55 mph. In the video, Oriana Farrell and a state police officer argue over a ticket just south of Taos. As the cop walks off, Farrell drives away and is pulled over again by the same officer.

The dashcam shows the officer trying to pull Farrell out while the five kids inside scream. Her 14-year-old son gets out, but thinks again when the officer pulls his Taser.

Finally, Farrell agrees to get out and talk, but the conversation doesn't last long. Farrell and the cop struggle as she tries to get back into the van. Meanwhile, the 14-year-old gets out again, and this time, he rushes the officer, trying to defend his mom. After a short tussle, both the teen and Farrell run back into the minivan and won't get out. An officer is seen in the video bashing the minivan's window with his nightstick.

Farrell starts to drive off again, and then another officer, identified as Elias Montoya, fires three shots at the minivan full of kids as young as six. Montoya wrote in a police report that he aimed "at the left rear tire in an attempt to immobilize the vehicle."

The dramatic video garnered national attention. Officials confirmed that Montoya was fired. His termination was effective at 5 p.m. Friday.

Montoya has 30 days to appeal his firing to a public safety advisory council.

Farrell and her son were arrested following a four-minute high-speed chase into Taos. She was charged with five counts of abuse of a child, aggravated fleeing an officer, resisting an officer, reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her 14-year-old son was charged with battery of an officer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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