Lawsuit alleges Albuquerque Police failed kidnapping victim


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A kidnapping victim who says she was tortured for two weeks claims Albuquerque Police made it even worse for her.

Now, she’s suing the department.

A new lawsuit alleges the police officers in this case were more worried about investigating stolen cars in the area than they were in the woman’s 911 calls for help.

The woman in the lawsuit thought her calls to 911 would have ended it all.

In March of last year her ex-boyfriend, Tito Fajardo, was holding her hostage inside a home near Broadway and Gibson for two weeks, beating her and allegedly raping her.

Fajardo’s mom, Mary Lou Hern, was also convicted in the case.

“This is a lawsuit alleging that the City of Albuquerque Police Department tragically failed a woman who was a victim of the most horrific imaginable crime possible,” attorney Shannon Kennedy said.

The lawsuit says once the woman secretly got a hold of a phone to call 911 and officers responded to the home, they “left when no one answered their knocks on the front door” despite the captor and victim being inside.

It goes on to say that after a second call to 911, “the officers returned, but again failed to do an adequate search of the property” even though the woman explained she couldn’t answer the door because she’d been kidnapped.

“Our expectation and what would normally happen when someone calls the police, 911 saying they’re kidnapped, those are exigent circumstances. They should have gone into the home,” Attorney Kennedy said.

The lawsuit says the officers turned their attention to something else.

“The second time they come back, they become distracted noticing that that there are some vehicles that appear to be stolen,” Attorney Kennedy said.

The suit says the officers “alerted the neighbors and Fajardo’s mother” that a woman had reported being held hostage to 911.

“And as result, they go back into the home and rape her and shave her head and call her a rat,” Attorney Kennedy said.

Albuquerque Police gave KRQE News 13 the following statement:

“We are committed to fully investigating this allegation. Our officers work diligently to apprehend suspects and protect victims in all circumstances.”

Farjardo was sentenced to three years in this case. His mom got 18 months probation.

Police say Fajardo and his mom were trying to coerce the woman into taking them to kidnap her young son. They say Fajardo is the boy’s father.

The victim eventually escaped while they were all out looking for the boy.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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