Farmington man accused of threatening restaurant employee with knife

Employee told police he feared for his safety when confronted by a man with a weapon

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Joshua Benally, 32, allegedly threatened an employee of Los Rios Cafe at 915 Farmington Ave. on the night of Nov. 13, according to court documents.
  • Hunter Hoaglund, Benally’s attorney, did not respond to a request for comment.
  • Benally was booked on Nov. 14 into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center and released on Nov. 16.

FARMINGTON — A Farmington man is accused of pulling a knife on an employee of a Farmington Mexican restaurant, causing the employee to fear for his safety.

Joshua Benally, 32, allegedly threatened an employee of Los Rios Cafe at 915 Farmington Ave. on the night of Nov. 13, according to court documents.

He is charged with a fourth-degree felony count of aggravated assault, according to the criminal complaint.

Hunter Hoaglund, Benally’s attorney, did not respond to a request for comment.

A Farmington Police Department officer was dispatched around 5 p.m. on Nov. 13 to Los Rios Cafe to investigate reports of a man threatening people with a knife.

The man, later identified as Benally, was last seen walking eastbound in an alley. Benally was found lying on the sidewalk in another part of Orchard Plaza, the same shopping center where Los Rios Cafe is located.

Benally told police he had a warrant but would not provide his date of birth to law enforcement.

Joshua Benally

He was arrested at the scene for failing to appear in a case involving alleged criminal damage to property, according to court records.

A male restaurant employee told police Benally was walking with another man, who asked the employee for money.

Employees at the restaurant were unloading produce at the time of the incident.

The man added Benally walked toward him with the knife in an aggressive manner and starting yelling expletives at him, according to court documents. The man said he was fearful for his safety and the safety of others, believing he was going to have to shoot Benally to protect everyone. Benally then walked away from the scene.

While in custody, Benally refused to give a statement to police but he did admit that the knife located by police belonged to him, according to a court document.

Benally was booked on Nov. 14 into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center and released on Nov. 16.

His preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Dec. 16 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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