A man believed to suffer from mental health issues tried to stab three (un)Occupy Albuquerque protesters Friday while they gathered at their camp off Central and Yale SE.
Albuquerque police arrested 48-year-old Miguel Aguirre and charged him with four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, tampering with evidence, refusing to obey police, and disorderly conduct, police spokesman Sgt. Patrick Ficke said.
The incident unfolded Friday evening, when Aguirre approached the group holding a sharp, two-inch blade and looking to pick a fight, protester Henry Edwards said.
There were about 50 protesters on hand, including children.
Three of the protesters approached Aguirre and asked him to leave, but Aguirre refused.
Aguirre kept asking the protesters “Who’s first,” Edwards said. He took a few steps towards them while brandishing his knife and the protesters backed away.
The protesters called police, and Aguirre walked away.
An officer and a lieutenant were driving by as Aguirre was walking in the McDonald’s parking lot on the southeast corner of the intersection. They tried to detain Aguirre, who resisted and refused to drop his knife, police said.
Police Tasered Aguirre, who police said appeared intoxicated.
Edwards, who coordinates medics at the protest, said the event was scary because protesters were not prepared for a violent incident. The protests have been otherwise peaceful, with the exception of a group of people who threw eggs at the protesters two weeks ago, he said.
The group’s meeting went on as scheduled and the campground was calm and quiet Friday evening.
“This is why the Albuquerque Police Department is out here. We wanna make sure that protesters are safe,” Ficke said.
Albuquerque police are investigating at least three attempted stabbings that took place at the Occupy Albuquerque protests Friday.
Police suspect 48-year-old Miguel Aguirre of trying to stab three protesters with a knife at Yale and Central SE.
When detained, Aguirre refused to obey police commands to drop his weapon and was ultimately Tasered, police said.
The three victims identified Aguirre as their perpetrator. Police are investigating whether there could be more victims.
No further information has been released.