Southwest States Violent Crime

Man Allegedly Uses Child as Shield From New Mexico Police

Rio Rancho, New Mexico police say one of two drunk men who prompted a SWAT situation, tried to use his own child as a shield from officers. Now, they’re both facing child abuse charges.

The call came in about two men with a gun in a parking lot near businesses at Southern and Western Hills last month.

According to a criminal complaint, it was Fred Ortiz and Bryan Hughte. Police say the duo was heavily intoxicated and barely able to stand.

Instead of turning themselves into the Rio Rancho Police officers who had their guns pointed at them, Ortiz started filming on his cell phone.

Finally, Hughte gave up and was placed in cuffs.

Police say Ortiz pulled a bizarre and dangerous stunt soon after Hughte was cuffed. They say he grabbed his young child from the backseat of his car and used the child as a shield between him and the officers.

Not long after, officers were able to get him in cuffs and get the child to safety.

Ortiz swore he was innocent.

Officer: “Yeah? You just came here for counseling?”
Ortiz: “Yeah, we didn’t do nothing wrong.”

Then, he admitted he had been drinking.

Officer: “How much have you had to drink today, bud?”
Ortiz: “Not much.”
Officers: “Three shots of what?”
Ortiz: “99-proof alcohol.”

He also admits he has a drinking problem, but it wasn’t getting sober or even his child that he ultimately seemed concerned about.

Ortiz: “I’m a f***ing alcoholic, I admit it. But regardless, there’s no need for you all to take my car.”

Police found three open bottles of alcohol and a gun inside of the car.

Both men were charged with child abuse, resisting police, and negligent use of a weapon.

Ortiz and Hughte are no strangers to problems with alcohol. They both have prior DWI convictions.

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