ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque mother said justice was not served for her young son who was shot in the face last year at a local skate park. The man accused of pulling the trigger is out of jail and no longer facing charges.
Story continues below:
- Investigation: What happens after someone attacks a healthcare worker?
- Business: Albuquerque man vandalized brewery; tries to escape with meat and cheese
- Weird: Man once accused of having sex with horse now accused of escape from jail
- KRQE en Espanol: KRQE En Español: Miercoles 22 de Septiembre 2021
- Crime: FBI investigates Albuquerque couple for bank robbery
Los Altos Skate Park has had its issues over the years with crime and violence, including last July when a skateboarder confronted a woman who was rummaging through a backpack that didn’t belong to her. Police said that woman got her boyfriend, 28-year-old Mario Garcia, who drove by in his truck and shot into the park, hitting a seven-year-old boy who was not involved in the confrontation and was just caught in the crossfire. “When it (the bullet) grazed it got him right on the temple,” said Stephanie Martinez, the mother of the boy shot. “It ripped all of that whole area of skin off. It required five stitches.”
Martinez said her son has since recovered but still thinks about that day. “He (Garcia) injured a seven-year-old boy, he traumatized a seven-year-old boy,” said Martinez. “That was his first time ever going to a skate park, he had never been to a skate park.”
Police tracked Garcia down the same evening of the shooting at an apartment complex, Albuquerque police searched the apartment and found the gun and ammo. Garcia was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and child abuse.
But this week, the District Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges against Garcia. The court said the search of his apartment was unconstitutional and the gun could not be used as evidence. The DA’s Office said without the gun they couldn’t proceed with the case. Which Martinez finds frustrating and concerning. “He walks as a free man, he’s able to go back to that skate park, which is the Los Altos Skate Park,” said Martinez. “What if he does that again and someone else is injured.”
APD said they are reviewing the judge’s decision. They said they will work with the DA’s Office and a judge to obtain search warrants as they did in this case.