APD cites man for violating public health order

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  With COVID-19 cases skyrocketing in New Mexico, we are seeing the first instance of Albuquerque Police actually charging someone with violating the public health order. It’s not a simple mask violation. The man at the center of it has a long history of causing disturbances.

Police have interacted with Pierre Williams on three different occasions last year. This isn’t the first time Williams has been in trouble. A search of court records brings up around 80 cases in the last three years, mostly for trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Earlier this month, employees of a convenience store on Coors and Hanover called police saying Williams was licking and spitting on merchandise and the fountain drink machine. They say he also took something out of his mouth and smeared it on the ATM inside the store. Turns out, Williams tested positive for COVId-19 a week fore during a different run-in with police.

In addition to trespassing, APD also charged him with violating the public health act, the first time we know of, APD has brought that charge. Williams has been the subject of KRQE News 13 Special Assignment reports, on the problem of people with behavioral health issues and slipping through the crack of the criminal justice system.

Over and over, Williams’ behavior has landed him behind bars; Over and over he has been declared incompetent and released. In this case, Williams was not arrested but was ordered to appear in court next month. After Williams tested positive for COVID, APD says they notified the state Health Department, state police, and Albuquerque Fire Rescue.

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