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Press Release

Shiprock Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting a Tribal Police Officer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – Victor Tyler, 44, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to an assault with a dangerous weapon charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Tyler was arrested on Aug. 20, 2013, based on a criminal complaint charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon.  Tyler subsequently was indicted and charged with that same charge and also with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon and inflicting bodily injury.

This morning, Tyler pleaded guilty to Count 1 of the indictment charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon.  In his plea agreement, Tyler admitted that on Aug. 16, 2013, officers of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety came to his Shiprock residence in response to his wife’s call for assistance.  At the time, Tyler had armed himself with two kitchen knives and locked himself into a bedroom.  After two uniformed officers entered the residence, Tyler came out of the bedroom with the knives, ignored the officers’ repeated instructions that he drop the knives, and threw one of the knives at one of the officers.  The knife struck the officer in the foot, causing injury to her foot.

Tyler has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, Tyler faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark T. Baker.

Updated January 26, 2015