18-year-old Farmington woman accused of attacking juvenile girl at Brookside Park East

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Lea Manuelito, 18, is accused of a third-degree felony count of child abuse and a petty misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property, according to the criminal complaint.
  • The defendant did not have legal representation on the morning of May 24.
  • Manuelito was incarcerated on the morning of May 24 at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

FARMINGTON — A Farmington woman is accused of attacking a juvenile girl at a Farmington park, allegedly strangling and repeatedly striking her, then breaking the girl’s phone.

Lea Manuelito, 18, is accused of a third-degree felony count of child abuse and a petty misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property, according to the criminal complaint filed in the case.

The defendant did not have legal representation on the morning of May 24.

The Farmington Police Department was dispatched around 6:42 p.m. on May 21 to Brookside Park East at 1915 N. Dustin Ave. on reports of a battery, according to the probable cause statement.

The injured 14-year-old girl was found extremely upset and was sobbing uncontrollably, according to a court document.

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The juvenile told police she was playing basketball at the park when Manuelito stood behind her, wrapped her arms around her neck and started to strangle her. She added that she was unable to breath as the defendant dragged her to the ground, according to court documents.

Manuelito is accused of striking the juvenile five times while she was on the ground. The juvenile said she was struck two times on her right cheek and three times on the top of her head.

The defendant also allegedly took the juvenile’s phone and broke it on the ground, court documents state.

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The juvenile told authorities at the scene that she had neck and jaw pain. She was taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center due to her age and the possibility she might have sustained internal injuries.

Manuelito allegedly told police she attacked the 14-year-old, after the juvenile made one of her friends cry, according to court documents.

The defendant’s first court hearing was set for the morning of May 24 in Farmington Magistrate Court. Manuelito was incarcerated on the morning of May 24 at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center. 

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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