Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Naked Man Steals Deputy's Car

Something about being naked makes a lot of people do crazy things.

Earlier this month on July 4th, a naked New Mexico man was arrested after he stole a police car and fled captivity. You may be surprised to know that this is not a particularly rare occurrence.

The Naked Man

Curry County sheriff's deputies got a wild surprise last Saturday when they responded to a report of a naked man along the road. There, they found Jesus Tarango acting erratically and claiming that he had been poisoned.

Deputies ordered Tarango to sit down but he then began walking around in traffic. Before the deputies could subdue Tarango, he hopped into a deputy's car and sped off. After a short car chase, Tarango pulled into a hospital parking lot where another sheriff's deputy arrested him.

Reports do not indicate whether or not Tarango was intoxicated or mentally ill. He likely wasn't intoxicated because he wasn't charged with driving under the influence. Instead, Tarango was charged with unlawful vehicle theft and aggravated fleeing.

Aggravated Fleeing

Aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer is the crime of "willfully and carelessly driving a vehicle in a manner that endangers the life of another person after being given a visual or audible signal to stop." The crime is a fourth degree felony, and if convicted, Tarango faces up to 18 months in prison.

Naked Driver Hall of Fame

Tarango's antics didn't just land him in jail. It earned him a spot in the Naked Drivers Hall of Fame. Here are a few other notable arrestees:

  • Randy Travis -- The country crooner was arrested a few years ago after he crashed his Pontiac Trans Am while driving drunk and naked. With a blood alcohol level of 0.21 percent, almost three times the legal limit, Travis was lucky to get off with just two years probation instead of a year in jail.
  • Felix Lockett -- Felix Lockett wasn't exactly drunk. Instead, he was high on formaldehyde and marijuana. After crashing his car into a wall, Lockett stripped off his clothes and danced naked in the middle of the street!
  • Jessie Schwaub-Devault -- Not only did Jessie Schwaub-Devault drive drunk and naked at 4:30 a.m. on a random Tuesday morning, she led the police on a five-mile car chase after stranding her husband and child, both also naked, at a roadside rest stop. Sadly, Schwaub-Devault could not remember what caused this naked family outing.

What will the naked crazies do next?

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