Taos law enforcement detain two suspects in alleged extortion

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Taos Police detained two suspects Thursday afternoon (May 3) at Ricky's Restaurant and Super Save after a woman reported she was being extorted.

Officers requested backup from New Mexico State Police as the situation unfolded around 4 p.m.

According to Taos Police Chief David Trujillo, the mother of a woman who had been released from the Taos County Adult Detention Center said a man – a known gang member whom police have not yet identified – had allegedly called and threatened to harm her daughter if she didn't withdraw money for him from her bank account.

The mother called 911 and said that the man was traveling in a white van.

The officers eventually spotted a vehicle matching the description the woman had provided headed toward Centinel Bank. They followed it to Ricky's Restaurant, where a male passenger, who has also not yet been identified, allegedly got out of the vehicle and attempted to flee behind the restaurant, Trujillo said.

As police detained the man, the driver of the van collided with a table, which then hit a shed near the restaurant, Trujillo said. The driver continued southbound on Paseo del Pueblo Sur.

With the help of state police, Taos Police followed a tip relayed from Taos Central Dispatch, which stated that the driver of the van had pulled into the parking lot of Super Save, less than a mile south of Ricky's Restaurant.

Before 5 p.m., officers converged on the van's location, guns drawn, and detained the driver of the vehicle, who held up his hands and shouted repeatedly that he hadn't done anything, according to Trujillo.

Reports from Taos Central Dispatch indicated that officers also conducted a sweep of the store.

Two men spotted on the roof of Super Save were briefly treated as potential threats, with officers taking up defensive positions behind vehicles and commanding them to raise their hands as they cleared the scene. Both men complied. They turned out to be electricians who were working on the building.

This is a developing story. For updates, check back here at taosnews.com.

– Reporter Cody Hooks contributed to this report

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