UPDATE: The man barricaded in the house on Vissing Place has been taken into custody. Anthony Menezes, 40, was taken into custody following an hours-long standoff with local SWAT teams in a subdivision east of UNM-Valencia campus.
Menezes has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in regards to an incident yesterday evening, Wednesday, Oct. 21, and will face additional charges after tonight’s incident, including resisting and evading arrest.
He was uncooperative and would not exit the home, so deputies deployed gas cannisters. Menezes was also hit with non-lethal rounds, specifically bean bags. He has been transported to an Albuquerque hospital for evaluation because the bean bags were used, Valencia County Sheriff Denise Vigil said.
Residents should be able to return to their homes shortly.
An armed man has barricaded himself in a house in a normally quiet neighborhood east of The University of New Mexico-Valencia campus in Tome tonight.
Members of the Los Lunas and Valencia County Sheriff’s Office SWAT teams have closed off the Los Pasitos neighborhood off of Chacon Boulevard and Dehaan Loop. The village of Bosque Farms K9 officer Brad Killough and dog Dukan are also on scene.
The standoff began about 2 p.m. today, Thursday, Oct. 22, said Valencia County Sheriff Denise Vigil, but law enforcement involvement began Wednesday evening.
“Last night, a call came in that a male subject at the home was threatening to kill himself, suicide by cop, and threatening to take out several officers,” Vigil said. “It was reported by the homeowner that he was armed with a rifle and wearing body armor.”
When deputies arrived at the home on Vissing Place, the man couldn’t be located and the homeowner left for the night.
“We had no contact with him and no other calls until today at about 2 p.m.,” Vigil said. “The man came out of the house; he was armed and had body armor on.”
Deputies evacuated nearby neighbors who were willing to leave, the sheriff said, set up an inner perimeter around the house and an outer perimeter to prevent people from coming in and out of the neighborhood.
Throughout the afternoon, deputies have been doing what are called “call outs” to the man in the house using a megaphone, and VCSO crisis negotiator Deputy Victor Chavez has been speaking with him off and on by phone, Vigil said, and flash-bang devices were deployed.
Shortly before 9 p.m., the man stopped answering the phone and there was no movement in the house, she said.
“We are going to send in a robot to see if we can find him; when Deputy Chavez was on the phone with him, he was heavily under the influence,” Vigil said. “The scene is very tightly secured right now, to ensure the safety of residents. Everyone who wanted to leave was allowed to earlier, but right now, no one is allowed in or out at this point.”
Mark McClarran lives about a half dozen houses away from the scene on Vissing Place, and said he and his family are safe. His teenage son left for work shortly after 3 p.m., leaving the subdivision by an unofficial road through the desert that has also been closed off. He remains outside the perimeter, McClarran said.
“They aren’t letting anyone in. Chacon is closed about half way down to the campus,” McClarran said. “It’s usually such a quiet neighborhood up here.”