Man stabbed in face

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A car accident around noon and reports of a stabbing victim at Socorro General Hospital a little while later culminated in the arrest Thursday afternoon of Luciano “Bandit” Griego, 25.

Griego, whose driver’s license shows an Albuquerque address, is charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery, tampering with evidence, leaving the scene of an accident and driving on a revoked or suspended license.

According to the criminal complaint filed Friday morning in Magistrate Court, the accident took place in the vicinity of Bagley and Central Streets. Police Chief George Van Winkle said Griego was reportedly driving a car that didn’t belong to him when he bumped into a curb and blew out a tire. He continued driving as far as a tire shop on Spring Street. Officer Gilbert Gonzales, who was off-duty and lives in the vicinity, gave Griego a ride to his residence on Sixth Street.

Detective Richard Lopez and Officer Gilbert Padilla were on Sixth Street when Gonzales and Griego arrived, and were serving a search warrant in an unrelated matter.

Van Winkle said after giving Griego a ride, Gonzales learned police were looking for him in connection with a stolen car, and pointed out the house where he had dropped Griego off to Lopez and Padilla.

Another officer, Clinton Martinez, arrived on the scene shortly after. Martinez and Padilla went into the house Griego had entered, and brought him out. He was placed in custody and taken back to the Bagley Street.

In the meantime, Lopez was called to the hospital about a man who had been stabbed in the face and was being “combative with staff.” On his arrival, the detective learned the victim had refused treatment and left the hospital on foot.

The two incidents turned out to be related.

A witness on Bagley Street told police he had seen Griego and the victim fighting, and had seen Griego pull out a knife and stab the victim in the face.

Van Winkle said that’s when Griego allegedly jumped in his girlfriend’s car and drove off, bumping into the curb and blowing out his tire.

A search was mounted for the victim, who was believed to have left the hospital on foot and made his way across the campus of Socorro High School and down Michigan Street before leaving the road and walking into undeveloped land in the direction of Bagley Street. He was eventually found, and again refused medical treatment.

According to the report, the victim was uncooperative, and told police he didn’t want to press charges but would “take care of this” on his own. Family members, however, said they wanted charges pressed because the victim “was too upset to make rational decisions.”

In the criminal complaint, Lopez reported that Griego gave conflicting accounts of the events of the day. He denied having a knife and told police that the victim “must have cut himself on something sharp in the yard” when the two fought.

However, the victim told another officer that he and Griego had in fact fought the day before; when he saw Griego on Thursday, he thought they were going to fight again but when Griego came at him, he saw something shiny in his hand and then felt the knife cut him.

Griego was taken to the Socorro County Detention Center and incarcerated. He’s facing prosecution for two third-degree felonies, one fourth-degree felony and two misdemeanors. If found guilty on all counts, he could be sentenced to as much as eight years in prison and/or $17,000 in fines.

 


-- Email the author at sbarteau@dchieftain.com.