Is there justice for a local victim of a crime?

Editor:

I am a counselor (female) practicing in Albuquerque, commuting from Rio Rancho, where I reside.

Very recently on a Saturday morning at 4 a.m., a male intruder put his fist through the glass in my front door. The breaking of the glass woke me.

This man entered my home and walked down the hallway to my bedroom. He was naked from the waist down. When I saw him, I began screaming until he backed away, ran down the hallway and out the front door.

I called Rio Rancho Police immediately. When they arrived, they found his cell phone and debit card on my front porch.

This intruder left fingerprints and his blood on the door. Later, it was discovered that he also left his jeans, belt and underwear on my back porch.

Subsequently, the police reported to me that they had apprehended the intruder. He was living five doors down from me.

Police relayed to me that the suspect was completely drunk and/or on some type of drugs. When questioned, he told police that he was “just too out of it to know where he was or what he was doing.”

He told them it was just a “mistake.” He also claimed that he thought he was entering the house where he lived.

It is not really physically possible to mistake my house for the house where he lives. The police told him to stay away from me, but did not charge him with any crime.

I feel there is a preponderance of evidence, positive identity and DNA to verify his presence in my home. His intent seemed to be nefarious, but judgments aside, he broke the law, plain and simple, no matter what his “intent” was.

The police informed me that the evidence was not conclusive, only circumstantial. No charges were ever filed against him and no action was taken by police.

Yet, I am the one left terrified in my own home, spending money to install security measures that I can’t afford, having been widowed recently. I have had to retain legal counsel to obtain a restraining order.

I have had to take time out of my work day to attend a hearing that this man didn’t even bother to show up for. Are there no consequences to breaking the law?

All this leads me to ask, “Why are criminals protected more legally than law-abiding citizens? Could this man not be taken into custody if for no other reason than to be evaluated psychologically? Why wasn’t the abundance of evidence enough to arrest this man? He obviously admitted to police that ‘he thought he was breaking into his own home.'”

He left positive identification, DNA and fingerprints at my home. At the very least, this is an admission of public intoxication, trespassing, breaking and entering, if we are to believe that it was “only a mistake.” Are the police willing to take the chance that his behavior is innocent, when he is so high on some substance that he can’t identify his own home?

Janice Gjertson

Rio Rancho

(Editor’s note: The Observer asked Rio Rancho Police Capt. Andrew Rodriguez about this case. Rodriguez said investigators are waiting for results of a DNA test from the state crime laboratory to confirm the suspect is the person who should be charged. He said it’s important for police to have all possible evidence before charging in order to secure a conviction. Once the lab results are returned, investigators will review them and determine how to proceed.)

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