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Screw a Beatdown New Mexico Residents Hogtie Drunk Driver After 6 Fatal Accidents

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In The News

There's more than one way to skin a cat--or hogtie drunk driving problems. New Mexico has one of the highest DWI rates in the nation. After 6 fatalities in 6 weeks, witnesses see a man nearly cause multiple head-on crashes while allegedly intoxicated--sparking local residents to literally take things into their own hands, to stop the problem. It involves rope. And it's effective.
New Mexico also has one of the worst rates for repeat DWI offenders. The state now has stiffer penalties than some -- but the problem with DWI incidents and accidents is deadly serious, an issue so bad that the governor is pushing to seize anyone's vehicle who holds more than one DWI conviction. In an area that has had six people die in just weeks from drunk driving accidents, residents have had enough.
Forget the "beatdown": A guy in New Mexico man was taken into 'custody' in a most unusual and creative way after locals have become sick of the rampant drunk driving in the area that's continued to cause repeated fatalities -- fast. People are dying. And residents aren't keen on the idea of any more unnecessarily being added to that list. So, on Sunday when witnesses saw a 22-year-old driver narrowly miss causing not one but several head-on collisions, they followed him.
Justin Canuto was driving northbound on the U.S. 550 late Sunday night when he pulled off the road by a convenience store. Fortunately for other drivers, he got out of the car -- meaning he was off the road. Unfortunately for himself, he got out of the car -- meaning he was hogtied.
Ticked off witnesses had followed him to the convenience store parking lot where he'd stopped. Six people have died on the highway where Canuto had been driving -- within just six weeks, an average of one fatality per week related to alcohol accidents. Three fatalities occurred in one day alone on January 1. The issue is so severe that New Mexico law enforcement agencies in the area have banded together to ramp up patrols. But they can't be everywhere all the time. At least some citizens, on the other hand, can. And they can and will take action.
Onlookers say the 22-year-old acted belligerent before trying to run. But he didn't get too far. A man tackled him and hogtied him, to wait for sheriffs -- the agency that later charged Canuto with suspicion of drunk driving charges.
The sheriff's department said witnesses were bent on justice -- wanting something to happen to the man who nearly caused head-on accidents during an alleged DWI. And they're OK with a little rope involvement. Ironically, Canuto was arrested for DWI just hours after New Mexico state and county officials had met to discuss trying to resolve the deadly problem along that specific patch of the 550.
As to successful efforts and the hogtied 22-year-old, it's the quote of the year from law enforcement: "I think they were trying to save lives, and if you look at that intent, I'll stand behind them every day," according to local Sergeant Ken Christesen.
National Geographic shows the proper way to effectively hogtie, though these hogs are getting a very different ending related to their capture -- castration. Justin Canuto may be very lucky it was law enforcement that came to get him.


San Juan County Sheriff's Department
6 Road 6360
Kirkland, NM 87417
United States
Phone: (505) 598-0475
36° 44' 28.3884" N, 108° 21' 32.4576" W
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