Traffic Stop Leads to High Speed Chase for Mother and 5 Children in New Mexico

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Video surfaced Saturday of a October 28th routine traffic stop of a mini-van pulled over for speeding that later turned into a police chase resulting in shots being fired at the vehicle which containing a mother and her five kids, ages ranging 6 to 16 years.

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The driver, identified as a Memphis woman, Oriana Farrell was passing through the area on an educational trip with her five children whom she home schools. A State Police officer clocked the vehicle going 71 mph in a 55 mph speed zone. When the officer instructed Ms. Farrell to turn the vehicle off and returned to his car stating he would be right back, she drove off.

The officer pulled Ms. Farrell over a second time and they got into an argument. The officer yells for Farrell to get out of the van repeatedly before he reaches in to attempt to pull her out. From the officer’s dash cam you can hear the children yelling for the officer to leave their mother alone and to get off of her.

Farrell’s 14 year old son gets out of the minivan and decides to walk toward the officer until the officer pulls his taser and points it at the boy. He gets back into the vehicle while the officer continues to struggle with his mother.

“Look, I’m going to ask you one more time to get out of the vehicle and then I’m going to pull you out, OK?” the officer said. “You’re already facing evading charges. You ran away from me.”

“Sir, I pulled back over, I didn’t run away,” Farrell responded. “You see my children. I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m just trying to take them to the Rio Grande.”

Finally, Farrell gets out to talk to the officer at the rear of the minivan. When the officer tells her to turn around, Ferrell runs back toward her minivan. The officer grabs her and they struggle. Her 14-year-old son gets back out of the minivan again and gets into a fight with the officer trying to protect his mother. This causes the other children to jump out of the van. The officer pulls his taser again as the family all jumps back into the minivan, Back up officers arrive and the officer yells for the son to get out. The officer then pulls out a baton and begins to smash the passenger side rear window out of the minivan as the family screams in terror.

The minivan speeds off as another officer fires his weapon, discharging about three shots at the vehicle. Farrell leads police on a high-speed chase into Taos, New Mexico where she eventually pulls over to a hotel and surrenders. Both Farrell and her 14 year old son were arrested. The mother faces charges of child abuse and fleeing as well as possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor. Her son is charged with battery of an officer.

The officers involved are currently under investigation but are still on the job.

I know this family personally. They lived in Memphis, TN for several years but recently relocated to New Mexico. The mother is an aspiring hip hop rapper, writer, student, and entrepreneur. She has been home schooling her 5 children and teaching them about healthy, vegan living, serving others and living a righteous life. My prayers are with them as they face the repercussions of this very unfortunate event.

In Farrell’s arraignment hearing, the judge agreed to release her on a $10,000 unsecured bond and rejected the state’s suggestion that she submit to regular drug screening. Trial by jury is set for April 21.

“The nature of the charges did not appear to involve alcohol or drugs,” McElroy said.

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