N.M.: Suspect held after standoff

BETH HAHN AND STACEY BOYNE Mountain View Telegraph

Copyright 2005 Albuquerque Journal

What began as a domestic violence investigation turned into some tense moments for local law enforcement agencies Saturday night.

The incident has a Moriarty man facing several felony charges.

Torrance County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Heath White said officers received a call from a child in an Echo Ridge home who said his mother's boyfriend was holding the family hostage.

A State Police officer was sent to the area, said Department of Safety spokesman Peter Olson, but when dispatchers lost contact with the officer, a SWAT team was called in.

"There were some pretty tense moments," Olson said.

According to White, who was the incident commander and negotiator during Saturday's stand-off, the man barricaded himself, his girlfriend and three children in a mobile home and refused to negotiate with law enforcement officers.

White said that after negotiations failed, the SWAT team broke into the house to make sure the children were safe.

The three children, ages 12, 11 and 1, were not seriously harmed, White said.

The 1-year-old was treated for bruises to her face and arms and released. The two older children are now in the custody of their father and the youngest child is in the custody of her mother.

Moriarty resident Jason Apodaca was arrested at the scene and charged with one count of abandonment or abuse of a child, one count of aggravated battery against a household member and three counts of false imprisonment.

A preliminary hearing for Apodaca is scheduled for Wednesday. He is being held in the Cibola County Jail, despite having a $10,000 bond, because he has violated earlier conditions of release, according to Moriarty Magistrate Court documents.

Court documents show that Apodaca was arrested in September on similar charges involving the same woman. 
December 8, 2005

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