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Homeless man cause of bomb threat; Mental health patient says dangerous bluff due to ‘voices’

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A man who allegedly made a total of four 911 calls to Pecos Valley Regional Communications Center with claims to set off an explosive device at Eastern New Mexico Medical Center Wednesday is facing a felony charge of making a bomb scare and a petty misdemeanor charge for making an enhanced 911 violation.

According to a criminal complaint, a Roswell Police Department patrol officer was dispatched to the medical center at 405 W. Country Club Road at about 5:12 p.m. Wednesday in reference to a bomb threat coming from the hospital’s general phone number.

Dispatch advised police that in the first phone call at 4:58 p.m., a man repetitively stated obscenities and racial slurs and then hung up. Seven minutes later, a hang-up call from the hospital came in. In the third call, coming in three minutes later, a man told dispatch, “I’m going to blow this place up,” then hung up.

In the last phone call, taking place at 5:12 p.m., a man then said, “I have a bomb and will set it off in three hours.”

Police soon made contact with ENMMC security, who was able to determine each 911 call had been made from the hospital’s adult inpatient program, Sunrise Mental Health Center.

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“After review of security video cameras, (I) observed a male subject make several phone calls at the same times that the phone calls were made to 911 dispatch,” the RPD patrol officer wrote.

Authorities were able to identify the man in the security footage as 20-year-old Nicholas Flores-Avalos, who is listed as homeless, according to reports with the RPD.

Flores-Avalos was read his Miranda rights, police said.

“Mr. Avalos stated he had made a phone call to his mother, but no one else,” the officer wrote. “Mr. Avalos was confronted with the fact that there are records to show all phone calls made, and they returned to the Sunrise phone he was using.”

After Flores-Avalos was told he had been captured on camera, he told police that he had heard a deep, dark voice within his head, telling him to call 911 and warn them that he was going to “blow himself up.”

“Mr. Avalos stated he did not make a threat of blowing the hospital up,” police said. “Mr. Avalos stated the voices told him to blow himself up.”

Authorities said Flores-Avalos had told police he was being medicated for his schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.

A psychiatrist who had been treating Flores-Avalos was briefed by the hospital’s CEO and spoke with police.

“The doctor advised that Avalos was lying,” the officer wrote. “He was not mentally ill, and had not been given any medications during his time there.”

The suspect’s doctor also told police Avalos had not been diagnosed as schizophrenic, but may have a personality disorder at best, which had never been determined.

“The doctor said Mr. Avalos has been alert his entire stay and he was fully capable and cognizant of his actions at all times,” police said.

Flores-Avalos is charged with making a bomb scare, a fourth-degree felony, and dialing 911 to report a false alarm or complaint, a petty misdemeanor.

On Thursday afternoon, Flores-Avalos made his first appearance in Chaves County Court before Magistrate Judge K.C. Rogers.

A $10,000 cash or surety bond was set for Flores-Avalos. A transfer order for competency determination was also put into place by the magistrate judge.

Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.