Harley Bassett
Harley Bassett (Courtesy of San Juan County Adult Detention)
FARMINGTON — Farmington police have arrested an 18-year-old man accused of running over a police officer on Monday afternoon.

Harley Bassett, of Aztec, was arrested at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday on suspicion of running over Farmington Police Officer Justin Nichols.

He was taken into custody without incident at a Farmington medical clinic, where Bassett's pregnant girlfriend was having a checkup, Farmington Police Detective Robert Pimentel said.

Shortly before 3 p.m. on Monday, Nichols was patrolling on a bicycle in Berg Park when he saw two people he suspected to be smoking marijuana in Bassett's Chevrolet pickup truck, Farmington police said.

When Nichols approached Bassett's vehicle, Bassett allegedly drove his truck into the front of Nichols' bicycle and fled onto San Juan Boulevard, according to a news release from police.

Farmington Police Lt. Taft Tracy said Nichols suffered minor injuries and was treated by paramedics at the scene. The bicycle was heavily damaged.

Police said they found Bassett's car at about 4 p.m. on Monday at Ricketts Park.

Police searched for Bassett for about 24 hours before his arrest on Tuesday. The search included officers from several law enforcement agencies and the San Juan County Sheriff's Office helicopter.

Pimentel said police are still interviewing witnesses, family members and other people connected to the case to determine how Bassett managed to elude police.

Pimentel declined to say what motivated Basset to allegedly strike Nichols. He also did not say whether or not Bassett had spoken with investigators.

Bassett was charged with aggravated battery on a police officer and aggravated assault on a police officer, which are third-degree felonies. He was also charged with resisting/obstructing a police officer, which is a misdemeanor.

The other person in Bassett's vehicle was not charged with a crime.

Ryan Boetel can be reached at rboetel@daily-times.com; 505-564-4644. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel.