ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – He is no vigilante, but he has been in the right place at the right time twice, to keep criminals from hurting other people.
“It was very obvious they were up to something,” said Adam Gates of Albuquerque.
Gates said it wouldn’t take a detective to know two guys scoping out the Circle K on Osuna and Jefferson were preparing to rob it.
“They got out of the car, left the doors unlatched and ran into the store,” said Gates.
Then, Gates got ready, pulling out his gun and ordering the men onto the ground when they ran out with several cases of beer.
“A lot of people say, ‘see something, say something.’ I’m more of a see something, do something kind of guy. We live in a dangerous city,” said Gates.
One passenger got away, but police arrived and arrested the driver, Angelo Garcia. Police say Garcia’s 14-year-old son was sitting in the car during the attempted robbery.
“It’s disappointing because that’s the new generation, right? And, that’s what he’s teaching him. That’s not okay,” said Gates.
This is not the first time Gates has helped stop a crime.
In the summer of 2018, he pulled a drunk Malcolm Torres out of a car outside Presbyterian Hospital downtown. In that DWI case, Torres got a slap on the wrist.
More recently, he was questioned in the disappearance and death of his step-daughter, 5-year-old Renezmae Calzada. The Espanola girl at the center of an AMBER Alert was found in the Rio Grande last month.
“That was crushing,” said Gates.
Torres has not been charged with a crime in that case.
“Obviously, it hasn’t been proven he had anything to do with that, but just the fact that he was let off with a slap on the wrist, essentially, for what became his fourth DWI, a year this incident happens where, theoretically, he could’ve been in jail, and if he had something to do with this little girl’s death… it could’ve prevented,” said Gates.
Like many in Albuquerque, Gates is fed up with crime and wants more people held accountable.
“Thursday night was a beer run, the next thing for this guy, is it a carjacking? Is it a mugging? Is he going to kill somebody? It has to stop,” said Gates.
Gates is ex-military and says it is not safe for just anyone to intervene the way he did in this case.
Despite a lengthy criminal history, Garcia was released on his own recognizance.