Bobcat attacks boy at zoo
CARLSBAD — A 3-year-old boy was attacked by a bobcat at the Carlsbad zoo, but the mother and witnesses give differing accounts of how it happened.
Courtney Kennedy said the cat grabbed her son, Ethan, out of her arms when they leaned over the barrier to look at the cat on Monday. She told the Carlsbad Current-Argus that the bobcat had her son’s head in his mouth, and his paw ripped close to his eye. The boy, she said, had five deep cuts.
Police, however, said witnesses told them that the mother, another adult and the boy had apparently stepped away from the walkway, crossed the double safety barrier in front of the bobcat exhibit and got up close to the bobcat’s enclosure. Police say they were told the bobcat then reached out with his paw and scratched the boy on his forehead and head.
Bandelier begins furloughs
LOS ALAMOS — Bandelier National Monument has begun to furlough some park employees thanks to the congressional sequester.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that superintendent Jason Lott said Wednesday among those forced to take furloughs are park law-enforcement agents, custodians and customer-service representatives.
He said the park is at its lowest staffing levels in its history.
Lott says the visitor center will keep the winter hours of 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and programs like the Wednesday night trail walks have been cut.
Around 5 percent of Bandelier’s operating budget was cut by the sequester.
Los Alamos National Laboratory, the largest employer in northern New Mexico, has said it will be able to avoid furloughs.
Murder conviction upheld
SANTA FE — The New Mexico Supreme Court has upheld a man’s conviction and sentence in a 2008 killing in Chaves County.
The unanimous ruling Thursday was issued in the case of Allen C. Dwyer Jr.
He pleaded no contest to first-degree felony murder in the killing of an 82-year-old man and was sentenced as a serious youthful offender to 20 years in prison with five years suspended.
According to court papers, Dwyer was 17 when he killed B. Tony Quici after breaking into the victim’s home to steal money to settle a drug debt.
Dwyer went to police and confessed two years later.
Dog-shooting suspect jailed
LAS CRUCES — A Las Cruces man suspected of shooting his neighbors’ dog has been arrested.
Las Cruces police say 50-year-old Tony A. Sanders is being held on $5,000 bail at the Dona Ana County Detention Center on suspicion of extreme cruelty to animals.
An animal control officer was dispatched Tuesday to the home of one of Sanders’ neighbors who reported that their German shepherd had been shot.
The dog’s owners say their pet was ill the past couple of days so they took it to a veterinarian.
X-rays taken at the vet’s office showed what appeared to be shrapnel lodged in the dog’s chest.
The owners have security cameras at their residence and reviewed footage. They told police that they saw images of Sanders shooting the dog at close range.
Suspect in stabbing arrested
FARMINGTON — A suspect in the stabbing of a woman at a Farmington laundromat last week is in custody.
Farmington police say 27-year-old Sophie Yazzie is being held on $40,000 bail on suspicion of attempted homicide.
Police were dispatched to the Quick Stop Laundry on March 16 on a report of a stabbing.
Upon arrival, officers located a 24-year-old woman with multiple stab wounds. She was taken to the San Juan Regional Medical Center for emergency medical treatment.
Police said Yazzie was identified as a suspect in the case and they obtained an arrest warrant.
She was found Wednesday at a home near Waterflow and arrested.
Police said Yazzie could face additional charges of aggravated burglary and tampering with evidence.
They didn’t know Wednesday whether Yazzie had an attorney yet.
Sex assault suspect arrested
LAS CRUCES — Authorities say a man has been arrested in New Mexico for an alleged sexual assault on a young boy last year.
The U.S. Marshals Service said Thursday that Jordan Dennis was in custody on suspicion of criminal sexual penetration of a minor.
Federal authorities said Dennis was arrested late Wednesday in Truth or Consequences by a team of law enforcement officers.
They said Dennis allegedly assaulted a 6-year-old boy in November or December and a warrant for his arrest was issued by Carlsbad police.
Authorities said they think there may be additional victims and say they’re expanding their investigation in southern New Mexico.
They said Dennis was known to law enforcement officers as a member of the Bandidos motorcycle gang.
Authorities didn’t know whether Dennis had a lawyer yet.
LANL: Radiation levels normal
LOS ALAMOS — Officials at Los Alamos National Laboratory say two recent aerial flyovers show normal radiation levels around the city and county.
Juan Griego, acting manager of the National Nuclear Security Agency’s Los Alamos Site Office, said the surveys conducted in August 2011 and June 2012 in the vicinity of the northern New Mexico nuclear lab found that radioisotopes and their associated exposure rates were consistent with those expected from normal background radiation.
The 2011 survey focused on the White Rock community and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The 2012 survey concentrated on the Los Alamos town site.
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal