New Mexico man accused of stealing car while another man slept in backseat

Credit: Doña Ana County Detention Center.

Credit: Doña Ana County Detention Center.

A New Mexico man is accused of stealing a car while another man slept in the backseat, authorities said.

Joseph Allen, 40, of Las Cruces, was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, auto theft, false imprisonment and the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, according to the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office.

According to deputies, Ignacio Baca, of Las Cruces, said he fell asleep in the backseat of his girlfriend's 2006 Toyota Corolla on Thursday about 11 p.m., the Las Cruces Sun-News reported. When he woke up, Baca said a man he did not know was driving the car on Interstate 10, the newspaper reported.

The two men got into a knife fight before police intervened, the Sun-News reported.

The car swerved during the fight, and Baca told police Allen pulled out a knife and began slashing his upper left arm and a rib, the newspaper reported.

According to court documents, Allen exited the vehicle and made hand gestures as if he was loading a gun, the Sun-News reported. When Baca realized Allen was not armed, he left the vehicle told Allen he could take the car, the newspaper reported. Baca then called 911.

Allen was arrested and booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center.

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