Duo allegedly robbed one man at knife point, cut another man on throat with a hatchet
Get an understanding of the differences between misdemeanors and felonies in New Mexico. Farmington Daily Times
Patrick Atencio and Josiah Ortega allegedly held one man hostage inside a residence on County Road 5099
FARMINGTON — Two men face felony charges after allegedly robbing one man at knife point and holding another man hostage while cutting him with a knife and a hatchet.
The charges stem from events that happened early in the morning on Aug. 31 west of Bloomfield and led to a roughly three-hour police standoff and pleas from the Sheriff's Office on social media that the public avoid the area.
Josiah Ortega, 22, and Patrick Atencio, 31, face felony charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon, robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and tampering with evidence.
Atencio also faces a second-degree felony charge of aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon.
Both men also face misdemeanor charges of interference with communications for taking away an alleged victim's cell phone, and of resisting, evading or obstructing an officer.
An arrest warrant affidavit filed Sept. 3 states the evidence shows the suspects acted together, battering one man with deadly weapons and keeping him "inside... after taking his wallet and phone."
They then went outside, made contact with the second man, one suspect armed with a deadly weapon, and attempted to steal a stereo from the car after the man fled, the document states.
Man taken to hospital after alleged armed robbery
Law enforcement was alerted to the situation after the duo allegedly robbed a man who had been sitting in his car outside a residence on County Road 5099 west of Bloomfield. The man escaped and fled to a gas station on U.S. Highway 64. He was then transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center with an irregular heartbeat.
A San Juan County Sheriff’s Office detective met with the man at the hospital. The man told the detective that he had been robbed by two men who held him at knife point and attempted to kidnap him.
Atencio and Ortega allegedly took his cell phone, wallet and a pocket knife.
According to court documents, the man escaped after Atencio ordered him to get in the back seat of the vehicle with Ortega. Ortega allegedly tackled him and threw the stolen pocket knife at him as he fled.
Police found evidence on the scene supporting the man’s story and his injuries supported the claim that he had been tackled.
Sheriff's office uses social media to warn the public
Police found Atencio and Ortega shortly after 9:30 a.m. Aug. 31 at the residence on County Road 5099, according to court documents.
The San Juan County Sheriff's Office posted on its Facebook page at 8 a.m. warning people about police activity in the area of County Road 5099.
At 9:40 a.m., the Sheriff's Office modified the post stating the suspect was barricaded inside a residence.
Suspects allegedly threatened to cut off man's finger, toes
Another man was inside the residence with Ortega and Atencio when police arrived on scene.
According to court documents, the man had redness and swelling on both sides of his face, lacerations on his neck and chest and swelling and tool marks on his left-hand pinky and two toes on his right foot.
Sheriff's Detective Jacob Courtney stated in the Sept. 3 Affidavit for Arrest Warrant that the man had "Multiple lacerations to his chest (appeared to be torturous in nature)" as well as the other injuries.
He told police Ortega and Atencio had been threatening to cut his pinky and toes off, according to court documents.
Atencio allegedly cut the man's throat with a hatchet. Meanwhile, Ortega allegedly used a large knife to cut the man's chest multiple times.
According to court documents, they took his wallet and phone prior to holding him hostage inside the residence.
Bond set for both suspects
The suspects had their first appearance on Sept. 4 at Aztec Magistrate Court.
Ortega’s bond was set $25,000 at 10 percent while Atencio’s bond was set at $50,000 at 10 percent.
Both men remain in custody at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center. Public defenders had not been assigned to them as of the morning of Sept. 5.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e