Albuquerque Police Look for More Homeless Beating Victims


The vicious beating death of two homeless home in Albuquerque, New Mexico — allegedly by three teenagers who claim to have assaulted 50 vagrants in a few months — has detectives trying to track down other victims.

A police spokesman said Monday that investigators are reviewing unsolved homicides and an outreach team is asking transients if they heard about any attacks that may not have been reported, Officer Simon Drobik told NBC News.

"Because of the nature of the violence they committed on these victims, this isn't the first time they done this," Drobik said. "We believe they did commit other crimes like this."

A criminal complaint said one of the suspects told detectives the trio had been preying on homeless people for over a year, dozens in the last few months, but never killed anyone before the double murder in a vacant lot on Saturday.
The brutality of the killings — the victims were so badly battered they could not be immediately identified and their assailants dumped dirt on their faces — stunned detectives.

"It's so much hate and they're so young," Drobik said.

The suspects are Alex Rios, 18, Nathaniel Carillo, 16 and Gilbert Tafoya, 15. Carillo and Tafoya legally are considered to be juveniles, but they will charged as adults under the state's serious youthful offender statute, the district attorney's office confirmed to NBC News. The three will be arraigned on the felony charges Monday afternoon.Tafoya's father told NBC affiliate KOB that he was shocked and devastated by the allegations, particularly since his family had once been homeless.

"It's awful to know and understand your son could do something like that," Victor Prieto said. "It's hard, you know, as a parent. You feel like you've failed.

"He knows what he did and now he's got to pay for what he did," Prieto added.

The criminal complaint says the three boys were just getting home from a party when they "decided to go out and look for someone to beat up."

They tied black T-shirts around their faces and went to the lot where homeless people were known to bed down on mattresses, court documents say.

Using their hands, bricks, a metal fence pole and wooden sticks, they set upon the three men in the lot, police said. One of them managed to escape, but the suspects continued beating the other two.

One of the teens said "all three of them took turns picking cinder blocks over their heads and smashing them into the male subject's faces," the complaint states.


Alex Rios has been charged with the deaths of two men in Albuquerque.The suspects variously estimated the attack went on anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour.

Afterward, the 16-year-old scooped up dirt, put it on the beaten men's faces and said, "Eat mud, bitch," the youngest teen told police, according to the criminal complaint.

The 16-year-old said they all went home and went to sleep. He said he "looked at himself in the mirror and 'saw the devil.'"
Asked what motivated the depraved behavior, the 15-year-old told cops he "was very angry over breaking up with his long-time girlfriend," the court papers say.

Police said all three suspects have been in trouble with the law in the past, but the records were sealed because of their age.

Forensic psychologist N.G. Berrill said the age of the suspects gibes with the sadism of the crime, which he said may have been a twisted form of male bonding or blowing off steam.

"They say the most dangerous person on the planet is a teenage boy," Berrill said, noting that the front lobes of their brains are under-developed while their hormones are raging.

"And if you get some boys together, they reinforce each other."

Attacking in a group also makes it easier to avoid a guilty conscience. "The more you get, the more responsibility is dispersed," Berrill said.

And while the idea of 50 or more attacks might seem unfathomable, Berrill said it's not. "The more you do, the easier it gets."

Published on Jul 21, 2014
KRQE News 13 This Morning