Police chief impersonates officer in another city and tased a driver, NM cops say

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A police chief is accused of impersonating an officer during a traffic stop where he tased a driver in New Mexico, officials say.

Village of Loving Police Department Chief Frank Methola was outside his legal jurisdiction when he pulled over a driver in a white Ford truck for not coming to a complete stop on Aug. 26 in Carlsbad, according to a criminal complaint filed on Nov. 29.

The driver was upset and yelled at Methola, police said in the probable cause statement. He told the police chief he did not have authority in Carlsbad.

In response, Methola used his Taser and detained the driver, police said, but did not arrest or give the man a citation.

He was wearing his police uniform and showed a badge to the driver during the incident. But Methola didn’t have power to make legal decisions in the area because he was not issued a “commission card” from the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, according to the criminal complaint.

Authorities tried to contact Methola three times for a statement following the incident but he did not respond, police said.

Methola faces misdemeanor charges of battery and impersonating a peace officer, according to Eddy County District Attorney Dianna Luce.

Loving is about 13 miles southeast of Carlsbad.

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