The more than week-long search for a man accused of dragging a state trooper with a pickup truck ended Sunday morning in a Brunswick barn.
State police said Abel Jimenez, 30, of Cambridge, was taken into custody in Rensselaer County, about 20 miles from where he allegedly dragged a trooper with his vehicle after being pulled over on the night of Aug. 20.
Jimenez was arraigned in Easton Town Court Sunday afternoon and charged with first-degree assault, aggravated assault on a police officer and first-degree reckless endangerment, all felonies. Jimenez was also charged with one count of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child because his 7-year-old daughter was in the car with him at the time of the incident, police said.
According to police, Trooper Joseph P. Smith stopped Jimenez along South Cambridge Road around 9 p.m. after the farm worker’s girlfriend reported a domestic incident.
Smith sprayed pepper spray at Jimenez as he drove off, dragging the officer and causing him to be knocked to the pavement.
Police said Jimenez dropped his daughter off at the home of an acquaintance in the area and later abandoned the vehicle, authorities said.
More than 100 officers from at least six law enforcement agencies spent more than a week using helicopters, officers with dogs and at least one airplane to scour woods and farm fields on the Easton-Cambridge town line near South Cambridge Road. The search later expanded into Greenwich.
Police said new intelligence on Saturday suggested Jimenez was near the town line of Brunswick and Poestenkill. He was found at the barn at the intersection of Dater Hill and Dearstyne roads around 9:15 a.m. on Sunday.
Smith suffered a concussion, fractured vertebrae and bumps and bruises. He was released from Albany Medical Center on Wednesday, but returned on Sunday morning due to complications from his concussion and head wounds. Smith was treated and released later in the day.
Jimenez is an illegal immigrant from Mexico who has worked at a farm on Tollison Road in Cambridge for five years.
A translator was used at the arraignment, and a public defender will be assigned to his case.
Jimenez is currently being held in Washington County Jail without bail.
He will return to court at 10 a.m. Sept. 13 for the preliminary hearing.
The first-degree assault and aggravated assault charges are punishable by up to 25 years in prison and $5,000 fines, Easton Town Court Justice Laura Taylor said.