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Suspect Arrested at Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Deputy’s Home

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Man wanted in stabbing had done roofing at house

LAS CRUCES — A man sought by law enforcement for allegedly stabbing his brother picked the wrong place to hang out Thursday: a home under construction for a Doña Ana County sheriff’s deputy.

Police arrested 26-year-old Omar Salazar after he admitted his identity to the deputy, who was off-duty when he received a tip about the fugitive’s presence at the home in the Sonoma Ranch area.

“He (Salazar) chose poorly,” said investigator Bo Nevarez, spokesman for the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office.

Salazar was charged with two counts of aggravated battery against a household member with a deadly weapon for the June 11 assault. He was being held at the county detention center with bond set at $20,000 cash.

A warrant was issued June 14 for Salazar’s arrest for allegedly stabbing his 36-year-old brother in the chest with a pair of scissors during a fight at their parents’ home in Vado, a rural village south of Las Cruces.

Salazar also allegedly struck his brother over the head with the victim’s own rodeo belt buckle.

Salazar’s brother was treated for the injuries, which were not life-threatening, at Memorial Medical Center and released.

Salazar was part of a crew, hired by a contractor, that had worked on the roof of the deputy’s home. He was later hired to do tile work at the house. When he was arrested Thursday, Salazar was no longer employed by any of the contractors, but he had gotten a ride back to the work site with former co-workers from El Paso, Nevarez said.

One of the workers reportedly warned Salazar that he was at the home of a deputy and that a Las Cruces police officer lived nearby, but Salazar, who authorities have said is homeless, missed his ride back to El Paso and remained at the site.

The off-duty deputy received a phone call about Salazar’s presence about 11:45 a.m. and, accompanied by Las Cruces police, went to the construction site to question him.

According to the sheriff’s office, Salazar, while being led away in handcuffs, asked the deputy: “How could you do this to me? I did your roof.”

The deputy, Nevarez said, replied: “Yeah, but I paid you for the work.”

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