Police: Man hit girlfriend’s parents with SUV

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

A 20-year-old Clovis man was charged Thursday night with ramming a sport utility vehicle into his girlfriend’s parents in an ongoing domestic dispute, according to police and court records.

James Medina Jr. is being held in the Curry County Detention Center on a $50,000 bond on two counts of aggravated battery, jail officials said.

Roberta Burrell, 39, was flown for medical attention to Lubbock with serious injuries, according to police. Her husband, Eric Burrell, 39, was treated locally.

A person who answered the phone Friday at the Burrells’ home said Roberta Burrell was still hospitalized but she and Eric Burrell would be OK. He declined further comment.

Thursday’s incident in the area of Herb and Beta streets in Clovis was witnessed by an off-duty police officer and his wife. She told police she saw Medina back up the vehicle “hitting the gas really hard,” then strike the Burrells, knocking Eric Burrell over and causing Roberta Burrell to fly through the air.

Seconds later, the witness reported, the vehicle drove toward the Burrells again, pinning them against their house, police said.

The witness told police she recognized Medina and his vehicle because of disputes between him and the Burrells.

Clovis Police Capt. Patrick Whitney said police arrested Medina following a pursuit that ended on U.S. 60/84 near Cannon Air Force Base.

Medina owns James’ Smoke Shop on Main Street in Clovis. A person who answered the phone there Friday declined to comment.

Thursday’s incident was the second altercation between Medina and the Burrells in a week, police and court records show.

Roberta Burrell had filed a petition for a domestic violence order against Medina on Aug. 3 in the 9th Judicial District Court following an incident in which she said Medina threatened her family with a baseball bat and smashed a taillight on her car.

Medina is dating the Burrells’ teenage daughter, a police report said. Roberta Burrell told police last week Medina was angry over $10 he said her husband owed him.

In her petition, she cited the event, explaining she was afraid Medina would return to her home and cause more problems.

“At 1:58 (p.m. about 30 minutes after the altercation) James called me and asked me if I pressed charges on him. I said yes, then he got mad and threatened to kill me,” she wrote in her petition.

District Judge David Reeb scheduled a hearing on the case for Monday, records show.

Under the temporary order, Medina is forbidden to go within 100 yards of Roberta Burrell, her home or work.

District Attorney Matt Chandler said Medina faces a maximum sentence of six years if convicted.