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Man Accused of Shooting at Tow Truck Driver (NV)


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A man threatened to steal a tow truck and fired shots at the tow operator when he said he didn’t have the equipment necessary to tow the Tesla the man was driving, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Mora Magistrate Court.

Xavier Ruiz


Officers with New Mexico State Police searched two counties for 29-year-old Xavier Ruiz of Tampa, Florida, after the tow truck driver reported the shooting in rural Mora County. Police eventually located Ruiz at a hotel in Colfax County.


NMSP responded to a gas station near Wagon Mound Aug. 17 where the tow truck operator told officers Ruiz had called him for a tow. Ruiz was driving a rented 2022 Tesla with a woman and their 18-month-old child as passengers when the car stopped running along Interstate 25 between Wagon Mound and Springer.


The tow truck driver told police that after he informed Ruiz that he did not have specific equipment required to tow the electric car, Ruiz became upset and said he had weapons and that he was going to steal the tow truck and tow the car himself, according to the affidavit. Ruiz then walked to the Tesla and retrieved a gun and fired it approximately four times.


The tow operator driver fled the area and called police. NMSP officers located the Tesla, but no one was inside, so officers began a search along Interstate 25 for Ruiz while the car was towed to a police impound lot in Las Vegas.


NMSP officers located the woman and child after police dispatchers received numerous calls about a man and a woman with a small child walking along I-25.


The woman told police Ruiz was upset that the tow truck wasn’t able to help them, and that the rental company also refused to tow the vehicle, so Ruiz decided it would be better to walk to the next gas station, according to the affidavit. The woman then asked to speak to an attorney. She is not facing charges.


Meanwhile, NMSP officers learned that Ruiz had checked into a hotel room in Raton, where he was taken into custody and booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center. Police did not find the firearm on Ruiz.


Ruiz is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, being a felon in possession of a firearm and shooting at or from a motor vehicle.


During an Aug. 18 hearing, Judge Cindy Garza set bond for Ruiz at $15,000, cash only, citing previous felony convictions in Florida for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and carrying a concealed weapon.


The woman traveling with Ruiz paid the $15,000 bond Aug. 26 and Ruiz was released from jail.


The stipulations of Ruiz’s release require him to be on house arrest until trial. The couple both have Florida driver’s licenses, however, Ruiz filed a change of address last week with the court that states he now lives in Las Vegas.


Ruiz is scheduled to appear in Mora Magistrate Court Sept. 28.



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