HOBBS, N.M. (KRQE) - He told police he wanted to pretend he was a race-car driver. The problem is police think he was very drunk when he drove onto a horse track in Hobbs and started doing laps.
It wasn't an average call that the Hobbs Police Department responded to just after 1 a.m. Friday.
"Nothing like this has happened," Hobbs Officer Mike Stone said. "The casino's been open for several years, and we've never had this type of issue there before."
Police said Martin McDonald, 28, of Fort Worth, Texas, broke through a gate at the Zia Park Casino and drove his pickup onto its horse racing track.
"He told a couple of the officers that he just thought it would be fun to go out there on the track and drive like he was in NASCAR," said Stone. But it would be a while after they spotted him before police would speak with McDonald.
Officers tried to pull over his Dodge pickup on the dark track, but he ignored their lights and sirens. The casino's security guard told police McDonald had driven several laps around the track at a high rate of speed before they arrived, and by the time police got there he wasn't stopping.
When one officer caught up to him on the track, McDonald slowed down but didn't stop.
"The sergeant was behind him for a lap or so at about 40 MPH," Stone said.
Police said that's still fast for this track considering it's clay and dirt and made for horses.
Instead of chasing McDonald on an endless loop, responding officers set up a barricade and waited him. When he finally reached a barrier, police surrounded him and ordered him out of the truck.
Police commands can be heard in the dash-camera video obtained by KRQE News 13.
"When you come out you need to have both your empty hands showing," one officer shouted.
At this point in the traffic stop, officers didn't know if McDonald was armed or if someone was with him and had weapons.
"They're ready for anything," Stone said. "That's commonly referred to as a high-risk traffic stop."
Police spent nearly 10 minutes talking McDonald out of his truck. Officers on scene said he was too drunk to perform a field sobriety test so they just loaded him in a patrol car.
McDonald then passed out in the back and he was taken to the hospital.
"If he passed out in the back of officer's vehicle, he could have passed out while he was driving down the road," said Stone. "We're just glad that he didn't make it out onto the highway."
McDonald is facing several charges including DWI, resisting an officer, concealing identity, criminal trespass and criminal damage to property.
The casino estimates the damage McDonald caused to be nearly $40,000. That includes a broken gate and barrier, a timing cable and damage to the clay surface of the racetrack.
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