Two men accused of violent robbery of Farmington hotel; woman told police she was choked
- Joshua Richardson and Jose Sotelo Jr., both 30-years-old and from Farmington, are accused of working together to attack a Baymont by Wyndham Farmington employee on the night of Dec. 3.
- The charging documents were filed on March 2 in Farmington Magistrate Court.
- Sotelo was released on March 3 from the county jail and Richardson remains incarcerated.
FARMINGTON — Two men have been arrested in connection with a violent burglary reported in a Farmington hotel during which one man is accused of putting a female employee in a choke hold, and also of stealing breakfast cereal.
Joshua Richardson and Jose Sotelo Jr., both 30-years-old and from Farmington, are accused of working together to attack a Baymont by Wyndham Farmington employee on the night of Dec. 3, according to court documents.
The defendants face a second-degree felony count of aggravated burglary and a third-degree felony count of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, according to the criminal complaint.
Richardson and Sotelo did not have legal representation on the afternoon of March 5.
The charging documents were filed on March 2 in Farmington Magistrate Court.
The investigation was launched when the Farmington Police Department was dispatched around 8:23 p.m. on Dec. 3 to the hotel at 901 E. Broadway Ave. on reports of a robbery.
Officers spoke to a female employee who said she was attacked on Dec. 3 and reviewed security video footage to investigate the incident.
Documents state that the video footage reviewed by a detective showed Sotelo and Richardson entering the building and propping open a door.
A document said Richardson went into a closed kitchen area and shut the door behind him. He allegedly stole boxes of cereal from the kitchen.
During this time, a document states, Sotelo went into the lobby and spoke to the woman working the front desk in an attempt to distract her while Richardson stole the cereal. Sotelo then sat in a chair in the lobby as he charged his phone.
Richardson is accused of making his way behind the employee by using a employees-only doorway. The employee told investigators Richardson walked behind her and placed her in choke hold, strangling her as he violently pulled her to the ground.
She added Richardson ordered her to open the cash register.
Richardson allegedly let go of the employee, grabbed her purse and attempted to flee. The employee said she chased after Richardson and got her purse back, and he fled the hotel out the front door.
Sotelo is seen on video footage quickly grabbing his property and fleeing the hotel, following Richardson.
Sotelo was arrested on the night of Dec. 3, walking westbound on Broadway Avenue away from the hotel, for suspicion of committing an unrelated crime.
During an interview, Sotelo claimed he did not know Richardson and denied being at the motel earlier in the day.
Richardson was interviewed on March 1, after being booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on an unrelated crime. Documents indicate that he initially denied being in the video footage but later acknowledged it was him. He then asked for a lawyer and the interview ended.
Sotelo was released on March 3 from the county jail and Richardson remains incarcerated.
Richardson’s preliminary hearing was set for the morning of March 5, and Sotelo’s on the morning of March 17 with both taking place 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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