The two T-Mobile employees were called out to check the cell signal near the HP building and the University of New Mexico Sandoval Regional Medical center. That’s when their attorney says hospital staff called police. “Detained by Rio Rancho Police Department for an extended amount of time for an allegation that they were somehow suspected of terrorism,” said attorney Joe Kennedy.
This all happened in December 2017 when Abdul Cyeef-Din and Quan Tran were working with T-Mobile in Rio Rancho. Kennedy says HP called T-Mobile to check on their cell service because they weren’t getting their signal. Cyeef-Din was sent out to the location first and also stopped by the UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center to make sure their signal was working. They share the same cell tower as HP.
However, Kennedy says while Cyeef-Din was there, the security guards and staff at the hospital questioned him. Even after showing security and staff proof of his job and assignment, Kennedy says police were called to the scene anyway.
As a practicing Muslim who dresses in traditional wear, Kennedy says his client should not have been subjected to this type of treatment. “To bring in the Rio Rancho Police Department and essentially surround my clients and detain them for an extended period of time and searched them, that’s where we believe the Rio Rancho Police Department crossed the constitutional line,” said Kennedy.
Tran later showed up to try to help his colleague, but with no success. Kennedy says both men were questioned and detained by Rio Rancho Police officers for a few hours before being let go without any charges.
They are both now suing the Rio Rancho Police Department for detaining them for no reason. Kennedy says having the hospital accused them of terrorism is one thing, but when police are involved, it is their job to dispel that type of discrimination.
KRQE News 13 reached out to the Rio Rancho Police Department, but they did not want to comment.