Village of Loving’s Police Chief Frank Methola was charged by the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office with impersonating an officer and battery, read a criminal complaint filed on Nov. 29.
Methola, 50, was accused of making a traffic stop in Carlsbad — outside of his legal jurisdiction — Aug. 26 while wearing his Loving Police Department uniform and driving a department vehicle, according to the criminal complaint.
Methola allegedly entered Carlsbad’s city limits while attempting to stop a Ford pickup truck on U.S. Highway 285; the truck’s driver ultimately pulled over on Old Cavern Highway and Rose Street.
“The driver was upset and yelling that Chief Methola did not have any jurisdiction in the City of Carlsbad,” the criminal complaint indicated.
The driver was allegedly detained by Methola who used a stun gun and placed handcuffs on the driver, according to the criminal complaint. The driver was not cited or arrested, as a result the Current-Argus has chosen not to print his name.
The District Attorney’s office contended Methola was not issued a commission card by the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office to make arrests in other Eddy County jurisdictions.
“My deputation gives a municipal officer authority to act as law enforcement outside their jurisdictional boundaries into the county and my authority,” said Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage.
District Attorney Dianna Luce said she could not comment on Methola’s case.
Village of Loving Mayor Pete Estrada did not return requests for comments from the Current-Argus.
The Current-Argus was unable to reach Methola for comment for this article.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.