The Las Cruces man charged earlier this week with a federal crime of impersonating a U.S. Marshal now faces state charges for holding three occupants of a vehicle against their will.
Aaron Tyler Stroud, 38, of the 2100 block of Mars Avenue, has now been charged by Las Cruces police with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and three counts of false imprisonment. All six counts are fourth-degree felonies. He also faces one misdemeanor count of negligent use of a deadly weapon for allegedly discharging a firearm within city limits.
About midnight on Sunday, Sept. 29, Stroud allegedly confronted three individuals – two women and one man – who were in or near a car on Mars Avenue. Two of the occupants began arguing when an armed man wearing a T-shirt marked “U.S. Marshal” approached and identified himself as a federal law enforcement officer.
The man, later identified as Stroud, pointed a handgun at the three individuals and got into a brief scuffle with the male occupant of the vehicle – even threatening to shoot him if he didn’t comply with his orders. After the brief scuffle, Stroud discharged one round into the air.
Shortly after Stroud fired a round into the air, a Las Cruces police officer arrived. The LCPD officer questioned Stroud who identified himself as a U.S. Marshal who recently moved to Las Cruces. He also identified himself using the name of an actual deputy marshal who works out of El Paso. Stroud walked away from the scene as LCPD officers searched for a shell casing from the round Stroud allegedly fired into the air during his encounter with the three victims.
Upon further investigation, and after consulting with the U.S. Marshals Office, police determined Stroud was impersonating a federal law enforcement officer.
Police believe Stroud has probably impersonated a peace officer on numerous other occasions and likely in his own neighborhood of Mars Avenue, Venus Street and near the Willow Brook Apartments. Anyone who may have encountered Stroud acting like a law enforcement officer is asked to call police at (575) 526-0795.
Stroud was arrested Monday and is currently being held without bond at the Dona Ana County Detention Center.