Albert Tejeda has a face that's hard to forget -- especially for deputies with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.
Thanks the suspect's unique facial tattoos and lengthy criminal record -- including a conviction for aggravated assault against a police officer with a deadly weapon -- law enforcement officials in the Arizona jurisdiction say they had no trouble recognizing the 31-year-old when he allegedly fled from a Sept. 27 traffic stop in Casa Grande.
"The deputy, just by looking at his face, knew who he was," Sheriff's Office spokesman Elias Johnson told The Huffington Post. "He's been in our custody so many times we knew exactly who it was even before we ran his [information through a database]."
When a deputy hailed down the suspect's vehicle at around 10:30 a.m., the suspect reportedly pulled over. But when the deputy approached the Casa Grande resident's vehicle on foot, Tejeda tried to escape, according to a Sheriff's Office press release.
Police say they pursued the suspect, but called off the chase when Tejeda entered a residential neighborhood and construction zone.
Later that day, officers who were on the lookout for the tattooed suspect claim they spotted Tejeda carrying a duffle bag with a samurai sword sticking out.
Due to a 2006 charge for assaulting a Pinal County law enforcement official, Tejeda is not permitted to carry weapons, according to Johnson.
"He knew he wasn't supposed to have it," said Johnson. "I think it was worth money -- I don't think it was because he wanted to hack somebody's head off or anything."
But even if he intended to pawn the sword, officials say they weren't going to take any chances. They dispatched a police dog to take Tejeda down.
"We would never have put it past him that he would have used it on an officer," said Johnson. "That's why we used the K-9."
Tejeda has been charged with felony flight from a pursuing law enforcement vehicle and misconduct involving weapons as a prohibited possessor.
This isn't the first time that law enforcement agencies have used a suspect's distinctive facial tattoos as an important lead.
Last year, police in North Carolina knew exactly who they were looking for when a victim said he was mugged by a man with a sports team's logo tattooed on his cheek.
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