Police arrest suspect in arson investigation and SWAT standoff


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Police have arrested a man in connection with two separate scenes less than a mile away from each other.

Police arrested 38-year-old Harold Valdez after a nearly three-hour SWAT standoff at the Sandia Peak Inn on Central near Atrisco. The incident all started early on Sunday morning after what police called a domestic incident at his mother’s home just a few blocks away.

They say he began damaging his mother’s home and at one point, even tried to start a fire there. Valdez left before officers arrived. Police later received a call from the owner of Sandia Peak Inn where they say Valdez was damaging a room and a vehicle.

“Somebody told me ‘that customer crazy,’ and he just threw out all furniture from the rooms, and I just went to him and said ‘slow down,’ and that guy just closed the door. And I called the police,” said Kay Yadav, owner of the Sandia Peak Inn.

Police say detectives obtained an arrest warrant for felony property damages and they had an arrest warrant for a probation violation issued Sunday. Valdez barricaded himself in the room and began to flood the room.

He eventually came out and surrendered after a couple of hours. The owner of the hotel told KRQE News 13 Valdez damaged the room he was staying in extensively and also damaged two rooms below it due to the flooding.

She says the cost to repair those three rooms could cost between $30 and $40,000. Police say Valdez has an extensive criminal history including battery and assault on an officer.

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