Family of wrong-way driver shot by state cops speaks out

Created: 01/06/2014 6:24 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The son of the man shot by state police after going the wrong way on I-25 is talking only to KOB Eyewitness News 4.

72-year-old Albert Urban was traveling through New Mexico Saturday night when he started driving the wrong way on I-25 near Las Vegas.

It took spike strips, a pit maneuver and finally bullets to stop him.

Only KOB Eyewitness News 4 talked to Urban's family.

George Urban by phone Monday said his elderly father Albert doesn't drink or do drugs. He says he's mostly cried since Saturday night.     

He's in a hospital room recovering from gunshot wounds right now and state police officers are guarding him.

"For them to incarcerate a 72-year-old man for something like this," said Urban. "It's just friggin' ridiculous."

By phone in New York, George Urban said it's hard to think about his dad Albert laying in a UNM Hospital bed with guards outside his door.

"I've made numerous calls to the police," said George Urban. "They won't even return my calls."

No information, said Urban, just a brief phone call with dad.

"There was just a lot of crying," said George Urban.

George said his dad doesn't seem to fully understand what happened on Saturday night.

State police tell KOB Albert Urban was going the wrong way on I-25.

They tried to stop him every way they knew how before cops say he charged them with this Ford van.

That's when officers shot him.

"The majority of the time when these wrong-way things happen, it's alcohol related," said George Urban. "My father don't drink, he doesn't do drugs, he doesn't smoke."

In fact, the Albert Urban his son knows is an avid outdoorsman.

"He goes to North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains and goes on 100 mile hikes," said George Urban.

This weekend, his son says Albert was just passing through New Mexico on his way to see family in Phoenix.

"For me now it's actually starting to go beyond what happened to my father," he said.

George Urban said what happened Saturday reminds him of someone else who was passing through New Mexico: Orianna Farrell.

"Something still has to be done about the police shooting people like this, you know what I mean?" said Urban. 

Albert Urban faces two counts of aggravated assault on an officer, and an additional count of fleeing an officer.

Drug and alcohol tests have not been completed.     

State police still hasn't told us how many times they shot Urban.

When he recovers he'll be taken to the San Miguel County Jail and booked on $100,000 bond.

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