U.S. Marshals Service Joins Search for Fugitive Parks
Professional MMA fighter “Slick” Willie Parks isn’t headlining any upcoming fight cards, but he did land atop “New Mexico’s Most Wanted” fugitives list on Thursday.
The U.S. Marshals Service announced it has joined the manhunt of Parks, a 29-year-old local MMA fighter for whom the Albuquerque Police Department issued an arrest warrant, charging him with beating his pregnant girlfriend on July 29, causing her to break her nose, suffer a concussion and have a miscarriage.
“Her doctor called her and told her the results of her prenatal test showed she was miscarrying the baby, and the chances she would lose the baby were definite and an end result of her injuries,” wrote Albuquerque police Officer B. Samora in an arrest warrant affidavit.
Deputy U.S. Marshal James Badway wrote in a news release that Parks has ties to Las Cruces and family in Garden Grove, Calif.
Parks, a former junior college national wrestling champion, trained and served as an instructor at Albuquerque’s prestigious Jackson-Winkeljohn’s Mixed Martial Arts gym. He has a 5-2 professional MMA record according to Sherdog.com.
Ricky Kottenstette, general manager of the gym, said Parks was a top-level wrestler and promising fighter who trained and was an instructor at the gym until “we had to get rid of him a couple months ago when he wouldn’t show up to work some days.”
Parks’ erratic behavior, according to Kottenstette, seemed to begin after he learned he would not be getting a spot on the popular FX reality TV program “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Kottenstette said the gym has been working “in any way we can” with authorities to help track Parks down.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, police say the woman remembers the two arguing about what she was wearing to a Downtown bar the couple went to July 29 and how other men had been complimenting her appearance.
The woman said she remembered getting in the driver’s seat of her car and later waking up in the passenger seat with blood on her face and a large knot on her forehead. Parks told her she had been in a car accident and her head hit the windshield, she told police.
Over the next several days, the woman says Parks cared for her severely swollen face but would not allow her to see a doctor. She grew “suspicious of the explanation that Parks offered” about her injuries and the accident, leading Parks to change the story to her being attacked by two men during a drug deal.
Police say the woman believes Parks slammed her head into the steering wheel of her car and that she had “a bruise on the backside of her right ear, which would indicate a thumb or finger had pressed against this area with enough force to cause bleeding.”
The woman went to the hospital Aug. 3 where a doctor told her she had a broken nose, a concussion, and her injuries likely caused the miscarriage of her unborn child. She was in the first trimester of her pregnancy.
Since the hospital visit, police say, the couple broke up, and Parks left numerous text messages and voice mails on the woman’s cell phone. A text message Aug. 6 read: “you play with fire and get burned,” according to police.
Parks does not have a criminal history in New Mexico according to online court and jail databases.
Anyone with information on Parks’ whereabouts is asked to call the U.S. Marshals Service in Albuquerque at 346-6400.
— This article appeared on page D1 of the Albuquerque Journal