ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The couple accused of throwing fireworks at a homeless man with their kids along for the ride have gotten a huge break.
A lot of the charges against the dad were dropped and the mom won’t face any charges at all.
It all started last year and it was a gruesome scene. Witnesses called 911 in July when they spotted a homeless man on fire, lying on the sidewalk near Highland High.
“He said that somebody lit him on fire,” said a witness on police lapel video.
Investigators arrested Joshua Benavidez and his wife Irene Enriquez for throwing fireworks at the man from their SUV and then speeding off as the victim burned.
They’re also accused of having their three young children in the car, something police discovered from Benavidez’s 10-year-old son.
“We didn’t mean for that to happen, he meant to just like kinda scare the guy,” said the 10-year-old in lapel video.
That led to a number of charges for both mom and dad like aggravated battery, child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
“We were kind of scared so we just drove away,” said the young boy.
But recently, the District Attorney’s Office let Enriquez off the hook completely, saying there’s no proof she threw any of the fireworks or knew her husband was going to throw them.
As for Benavidez, he’s still charged for the attack. But the DA’s Office nixed all of his child abuse charges and the charges for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The DA’s office tells KRQE New 13 they couldn’t prove the children’s lives were endangered or in risk of serious harm.
Both the husband and wife have long criminal histories.
Benavidez is scheduled to go on trial in May.