Gallup parade crash suspect appears in court
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GALLUP, N.M. — A man accused of driving drunk through a Gallup parade was in court again Wednesday. After hearing hours of testimony from witnesses and victims, the judge decided the case against 33-year-old Jeff Irving will move forward.
Police said Irving was drunk – three times over the legal driving limit – but that didn’t stop him from getting behind the wheel of an SUV when he barreled down the Intertribal Ceremonial Parade route earlier this month.
Irving is facing multiple charges, including DWI, driving with a revoked license and aggravated assault against an officer.
“They’re alleging, the state is, that you assaulted or struck at a policeman,” said Judge Louis E. DePauli Jr.
The state’s first witness was Gallup police officer Elijah Bowman. Body camera footage shows his encounter with Irving.
“Vehicle backs up, turns off,” Bowman said. “When we approach, we get to the vehicle, vehicle turns back on.”
Then, Irving is seen speeding off toward the parade route.
“The vehicle took off. I got on the side of the running board, I was on the side of the vehicle,” Bowman said.
Bowman claims he hurt his foot when he jumped off the SUV. Another Gallup police officer, Gilbert Gonzales, said he was also hurt when the SUV took off.
“He hit the gas pretty hard and took off, the door hit my right knee,” Gonzales said. “I have had a lot of soreness and pain, and I have problems putting a lot of weight on it.”
Judge DePauli Jr. heard testimony from multiple other witnesses and victims who claimed they were injured during the incident.
Ultimately, the judge decided there is enough evidence against Irving to move his case forward.
Part of the contention Wednesday was sorting through all the alleged injuries and seeing if there was enough evidence to make those charges stick.