Former judge brutally attacked
The New Mexico State Police, along with assistance from the city of Socorro Police Department are working to find the person or persons responsible for severely beating Socorro attorney and former 7th Judicial District Court Judge Tom Fitch in his office at 715 N. California St. on Friday, Aug. 5.
Police Chief George Van Winkle said officers responded to a call at about 7:25 p.m. Friday and upon arrival found Fitch slumped over a desk, badly beaten. The chief said Fitch’s wife, Polly Tausch, is the one who found her husband.
Van Winkle said Fitch was taken by ambulance to Socorro General Hospital and was then transferred to an Albuquerque hospital where he has since undergone surgery. He said at this point in the investigation, it is unknown when the incident happened.
Van Winkle said NMSP was initially called to the scene Friday night to help with the investigation, and has since become the lead agency.
“We knew it would take a lot of manpower,” Van Winkle said. “And, they have a lot of resources. Our guys are working with the state police.”
According to NMSP Public Information Officer Maj. Daniel Lovato, state police were called to help investigate a possible assault and battery on Fitch that night and when they arrived they helped process the crime scene.
Lovato wrote in an email that the assault on Fitch is believed to have happened earlier, as much as a few hours before he was found. He wrote that Fitch is hospitalized with unknown injuries and agents are investigating and will continue to follow up on leads in the case.
Van Winkle said if anyone saw anything or may have information regarding the assault, to please contact Detective Richard Lopez at the Socorro Police Department at 575-835-1883.
“Sometime people don’t realize they may have seen something,” Van Winkle said.
Contact Jackie Schlotfeldt