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Inmate batters youth detention facility employee, police say

Brandon Lujan, 20.

Brandon Lujan, 20.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A juvenile detention center inmate “severely battered” one of the facility’s staff members, punching him in the face and shoving his thumb into the staff member’s eye, according to New Mexico State Police.

The suspect, 20-year-old Brandon Lujan, was booked into the county jail on a charge of aggravated battery with great bodily harm.

Police say Lujan got in a verbal fight with a staff member at Camino Nuevo Juvenile Detention Center in Albuquerque Monday night. During the argument the staff member demanded Lujan return to his cell. Lujan punched the employee in the face multiple times and pushed his thumb into the employee’s eye socket, “causing great bodily harm,” a State Police officer wrote in the criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

Lujan told police he punched the employee and shoved his finger in his eye, and said he was trying to hurt him, according to the complaint.

Camino Nuevo, located at 4050 Edith NE, is a Children, Youth and Families Department facility where juveniles who have been convicted of crimes serve time.

Henry Varela, spokesman for CYFD, said he couldn’t comment or release information on Lujan. But generally he said it’s not uncommon for children to be convicted as juveniles and then sentenced to a juvenile facility until they turn 21, which is why a legal adult might still be in the care of a juvenile facility.