Two inmates charged with battery in jail fight

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

AZTEC — Two inmates at the San Juan County jail were accused last week of attacking a third inmate without provocation.

Larry Emerson and Zachary Goar, both 35, were each charged July 20 in Aztec Magistrate Court with one count of aggravated battery as a third-degree felony.

Emerson's attorney, Mark Curnutt, did not respond to a request for comment.

Goar has not yet retained legal representation, according to court records.

A San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy was dispatched shortly before 9 p.m. July 11 to the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, 871 Andrea Drive, to investigate the attack of an inmate, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

A jail sergeant told the deputy Christopher Velazquez, 25, had been attacked approximately five hours earlier by Emerson and Goar in a recreational area at the detention center.

The sergeant showed the deputy surveillance footage from the incident, the affidavit states. The footage shows Goar walked up to Velazquez and said a few words before punching him in the left side of the head, according to the affidavit. Emerson then kicked Velazquez in the back of the head, and Goar jumped on him and continued punching him, the affidavit states.

Goar and Emerson declined to answer questions about the incident, the affidavit states.

Velazquez was treated for a broken nose and cuts to the left side of his face, the affidavit states.

He told the deputy he was sitting watching television and the next thing he knew he was laying in his own blood. Velazquez said he had "no clue" who attacked him, according to the affidavit.

Detention center Lt. Jim Calhoun said Wednesday Goar and Emerson have already appeared before a disciplinary board at the jail and been punished for their alleged role in the fight. He declined to say what action was taken against the men, but confirmed they were removed from the general population.

According to court records, Emerson was charged in April with battery against a household member, causing great bodily harm, and false imprisonment. Those charges are pending, records state.

Goar was being held at the jail after his probation was revoked in a March 2013 domestic assault case, records state.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.