National News

New Mexico man facing charges after hostages freed

Posted June 19

— A New Mexico man was facing assault and other charges Monday after state police said he held more than a dozen people hostage inside a roadside store where he fled after exchanging gunfire with officers.

Kaleb Scroggins. 21, was arrested Sunday afternoon after a SWAT team went into McGinn's Pistachio Farm store near Alamogordo and freed the 14 hostages.

Alamogordo police had been seeking Scroggins for an unrelated shooting and got a tip that he may be in the area, state police spokesman Carl Christiansen said in a news release.

Officers spotted his vehicle and gave chase along a country road. At U.S. Highway 54, Scroggins pulled into traffic and was broadsided by another vehicle. He jumped out and exchanged gunfire with officers before running into the store, authorities said.

Otero County deputies and state police negotiators tried to talk Scroggins into surrendering, but eventually the SWAT team had to go inside. He gave up after the hostages were freed.

Scroggins was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, shooting at an occupied dwelling, fleeing from police and breaking and entering. Authorities say he has a lengthy arrest record.

He was being held in the Otero County Detention Center on a $250,000 bond. Officials said they didn't have a listing for an attorney representing Scroggins, who is due in court next week on the charges.

Scroggins had minor injuries from the accident and was booked into jail following treatment.

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This story has been corrected to show the suspect's first name is spelled Kaleb, not Caleb.

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