Steelman recaptured

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Steelman’s vehicle was rammed by a sheriff’s deputy vehicle to force him to a stop.

Liliana Castillo

Curry County Detention Center absconder Justin Steelman, 32, was recaptured after leading police on a high speed chase today from Clovis to Farwell, according to Undersheriff Wesley Waller.

The Curry County sheriff’s office received a tip that Steelman had been seen in the Texico area, Waller said. As deputies were responding to Texico, they saw Steelman traveling in his vehicle toward Clovis on U.S. 60/84.

“Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle. Mr. Steelman refused to comply and evaded. A pursuit was initiated,” Waller said.

Steelman was released from jail on medical furlough Friday after suffering a seizure. He failed to return to jail as agreed last weekend and has been the subject of a police manhunt.

Waller said that as the chase neared Clovis, sheriff’s deputies terminated their pursuit. Clovis police located Steelman’s vehicle and assisted in the pursuit around Clovis. The sheriff’s office continued pursuit when he allegedly traveled back on to U.S. 60/84. The chase continued toward Texico.

A sheriff’s deputy rammed Steelman’s vehicle, forcing him to come to a stop in Farwell, Waller said.

The chase lasted about 20 minutes, Waller said.

Steelman was taken from the scene in an EMS vehicle after complaining of seizure symptoms and admitted at Plains Regional Medical Center.

Waller said there were no other injuries.

Steelman was jailed April 14 and is accused of resisting law enforcement in that encounter, prompting police to tazer him three times during the attempt to arrest.

Waller said Steelman is back in custody and upon his release from PRMC, he will be returned to the jail.

Waller said Steelman will be facing additional charges “as a result of his actions during the pursuit” but said the charges are pending.

After his capture, Steelman’s mother, Cecelia Steelman of Clovis, said she intends to demand a full investigation into how her son was released in the first place.

She said she refused when contacted by the jail Friday night and asked if she would take responsibility for him under a medical furlough.

“I am glad that he was recaptured,” she said, “but he shouldn’t have been released in to begin with. I have contacted the governor and am waiting in her response. Someone needs to get to the bottom of this.”