Police say a Santa Fe man who had threatened to commit suicide was listed in critical condition Thursday morning after leading officers on a 45-minute chase and crashing a U-Haul rental truck while towing a Volkswagen Beetle on a trailer.
Gary Lyon, 55, was thrown from the vehicle after it swerved into a concrete bridge abutment on Interstate 25 south of Santa Fe around 3:45 a.m.
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Lt. Louis Carlos of Santa Fe police said officers had responded to a call from Lyon's girlfriend, Ana Marie Madrid, who told police that Lyons was shooting a gun and threatening suicide.
According to the complaint, Lyon shot two rounds outside of his house in the 2400 block of Avenida De Las Estrellas, where Madrid was inside, and said, "Scared you, didn't I?"
According to a criminal complaint, a Santa Fe police dispatcher advised all officers that Lyon "was threatening suicide during the day and was saying his good-byes."
Before police arrived, Carlos said Lyon fled in the U-Haul, which Officer Samantha Talamante spotted on Airport Road and attempted a traffic stop.
Lyon led Talamante and other officers onto N.M. 599 where Lt. Stan Mascarenas had laid a spike strip. The spike strip flattened several tires on the truck and trailer, forcing Lyon to swerve and at one point sending sparks flying as he drove up the southbound I-25 on-ramp.
At one point, Lyon pulled over and police, from their vehicles, asked him to turn off his engine.
"The officers did not approach the vehicle because they had received information that he was suicidal and that he wanted suicide by cop," Carlos said.
However, Lyon pulled away from police. Carlos said officers continued the chase because of evidence that he had shot his weapon earlier that morning. "It was not an option," Carlos said of ending the pursuit. "He had already committed a crime."
In a dash-camera video released by Santa Fe police, the truck can be seen swerving on I-25 until he reaches the Santo Domingo exit. "Mr. Lyon appeared to purposefully veer toward the bridge's pillar," Carlos said.
Lyon was ejected as the truck and trailer rolled, sending a cloud of dust into the air. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.
New Mexico State Police are investigating the exact cause of the crash.
Santa Fe police are investigating charges in the criminal complaint, which include aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault against a household member, negligent use of a deadly weapon and two traffic violations.
Lyon was classified in critical condition as of 8 a.m. Thursday after he was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.
Police found bullet casings from what Carlos said was a high-powered rifle in front of Lyon's house. However, the weapon Lyon allegedly discharged hadn't been located by police, Carlos said.
Carlos did not have information on what Lyon was carrying in the U-Haul truck or why he was towing the Volkswagen.
Contact Nico Roesler at 986-3089 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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