Traffic stop turns into chase for Memphis mother - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

Traffic stop turns into chase for Memphis mother

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TAOS, NM -

(WMC - TV) - It started with a traffic stop for speeding in New Mexico, in a matter of minutes it escalated into a dangerous situation for the mother, her children and police. 

New Mexico police say they pulled over Oriana Farrell, 39, when she was caught doing 71 in a 55 mile-per-hour zone.  As Farrell drives away that's when things take a turn for the worse.  About a mile down the road she pulls over again, this time the officer is less than pleased.  He tells her to get out of the vehicle.

That's when you see Farrell struggle with police.  In the background, you can hear her five kids scream as she scuffles with police.  That's when Farrell's 14-year-old son gets out of the van.  He quickly gets back in when he gets threatened with a taser. 

The officer then tells Farrell she is facing evading charges and warns her not to run again.  She says she pulled over and didn't run away.  Farrell mentions her children in the car and how they are on a trip to the Rio Grande.

The officer tries to arrest Farrell again, but this time her son jumps out of the car and rushes the police officer.  The officer calls for backup and as soon as it arrives it takes off.  Officers open fire on the van as it speeds away.  Children as young as six years old are inside of the van.

Farrell leads police on a high speed chase for up to four miles, before she surrenders at a hotel.  She is arrested and so is her 14-year-old son. 

We tried to find Farrell's ties to Memphis.  The address listed on a prior DUI charge had no charge.  Neighbors say her family moved away a few years ago.  The addressed listed on her drivers license lead us to a school, not a home. 

We found that Farrell had ties to the home schooling community in Memphis.  But after reaching out to home schooling organization, we were told she no longer worked with them and they didn't have ANY contact information on her.

New Mexico media outlets report that Farrell was in the state for an educational trip.  That same report says Farrell was arrested for five counts of abuse of a child, aggravated fleeing an officer, resisting an officer, reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Farrell's son was charged with battery of an officer and resisting arrest.  The rest of the children were placed in the custody of family friends in New Mexico.

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