ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police say an Albuquerque man vandalized nearly a dozen Mexican food restaurants overnight Saturday, leaving behind a Xeroxed, handwritten note to the “Mexican Mafia” at each one.
Albuquerque police officer Simon Drobik said Edelidio Wallace, 58, will likely face multiple misdemeanor and felony charges for the property damage. For now, he is in custody on one count of aggravated assault after throwing a hatchet at a police cruiser Sunday, according to a criminal complaint.
Police were dispatched Sunday to La Cabanita restaurant, located on Wyoming near Central, after a window was broken. Witnesses who heard the glass break told officers that a man in dark clothing rode away from the business on a bike, and police found him nearby.
When they asked the man to stop, he refused and gave them the finger, according to the complaint. Later, he turned his bike around and started riding toward the police cruiser.
“At this time, the male subject brandished a silver hatchet and had raised it above his head,” police wrote in the complaint. He threw the hatchet at the police car, hitting the front driver’s side door “just below the open window.”
Drobik said police soon realized the man they had in custody might have vandalized 10 more restaurants overnight.
Drobik said Wallace, who lists his address as a homeless shelter Downtown, is well-known to police, and officers have repeatedly worked to connect him with mental health services.
Security footage from one of the vandalized businesses shows a man parking a bicycle before throwing a rock through the front window, then slipping a folded piece of paper through the busted glass.
Drobik said police found the same one-page letter at each restaurant.
“I don’t want to smash your windows, I don’t,” the note reads. “But I don’t know what els (sic.) to do. These constant attempts on my life, is absolutely ridiculous and exhausting!!”
The handwritten letter references the writer’s wish for God to kill the Mexican Mafia so “everyone will know he is the lord.”
Of the 11 restaurants that were vandalized, five were on 4th Street, two on Zuni, two on Central, one on Wyoming and one on San Pedro, Drobik said.