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Melee Breaks Out Over Gun At West Side Garcia’s

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police responded to a bizarre incident Sunday afternoon in which a man claiming to be a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agent attacked a man carrying a gun.

Albuquerque Police Department Dep. Chief Allen Banks said 34-year-old Jose Garcia was eating with his family at Garcia’s Kitchen at 6961 Taylor Ranch Road NW at about 2 p.m. on Sunday. Banks said Garcia was carrying a pistol in a hip holster in plain view.

In New Mexico it is legal to carry a gun openly.

Christopher Torres, 27, was sitting near Garcia and began shouting that he was a DEA agent and had information that Garcia intended to rob the restaurant. Banks said Torres then attacked Garcia.

At some point Garcia’s gun fell out of the holster and chaos ensued.

“It turned into a large melee,” Banks said.

Other customers managed to subdue Torres and removed Garcia’s gun to a safe place in the restaurant manager’s office, Banks said.

When police arrived, they made the determination Torres was likely suffering from a mental disorder and took him to a hospital.

Banks said Torres will be charged with public affray and impersonating a law enforcement officer.

Banks said Garcia will be charged with carrying a gun in a liquor establishment.


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