Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
A lengthy inspection of public records request made at the Roswell Police Department offers a detailed glimpse of the level of police reports the Roswell Independent School District encounters.
Specifically aimed toward RISD schools within Roswell’s city limits, the records request, pursuant to New Mexico’s Inspection of Public Records Act, focused on all arrest and incident reports made in the fall, specifically from Aug. 10, 2017 to Dec. 22.
This article is the beginning of a three-part series divided by school level. The names of minor students have been reduced to a single letter of their first name.
In total, RISD elementary schools within the city garnered 33 reports, four of which included juvenile citations for Pecos Elementary School students, and four reports for a parent with outstanding warrants in both magistrate and municipal court.
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Del Norte Elementary had only two reports: criminal damage of a vehicle and a report of assault.
El Capitan Elementary had six incidents, one again pertaining to a criminal damage report to a vehicle, as well as a verbal domestic dispute between parents, battery involving a special education student and an instance of disorderly conduct when a student in possession of a cellphone tried to push a police officer several times and took an “aggressive stance,” according to the incident report.
El Capitan was also subject to the “ghost pepper” incident, which involved students consuming ghost pepper powder a child had brought from home, causing students to get the powder in their eyes. Police said 15 students were affected.
Lastly, there was a moment of defiance from an elementary school student who had exposed himself to “at least three” female students. According to the incident report, after the boy tried to run away from faculty at the cafeteria, an RPD officer got ahold of the boy and had to hold his hands down.
The report also noted the student had attempted to kick a police officer several times and when a district employee said they were going to record the student’s activity, the student spat at them. The child was eventually picked up by his grandfather.
Missouri Avenue Elementary had five reports, which included graffiti on a trash can barrier, $335 in damages to the school playground’s sprinkler system and a car accident between a teacher’s and parent’s vehicles.
Police also responded to an incident following a physical fight with another student, the school’s principal sent the school’s nurse, counselor and social worker to perform a welfare check on the mother after she had told them she was unable to pick up her son because she had no gasoline.
According to the report, the mother continually said negative things about her son and made mention that she can no longer handle him and wanted to send him away.
After being told the positive aspects of her son, the mother nodded her head “no.” Police said the last Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) referral was filed in May 2017. A Statewide Central Intake (SCI) referral was filed. CYFD was also contacted.
Lastly, police made a report of child abuse after Bruce Gaucher, a school counselor, told authorities a student was acting sad and out of character.
“Mr. Gaucher advised ‘A’ told him a story that worried him. Mr. Gaucher advised that ‘A’ told him that last night she saw the hand of an old man on her window. Mr. Gaucher advised that ‘A’ advised that she was then cut in the back with a knife, tied up, and hit in the face and went unconscious. ‘A’ then advised Mr. Gaucher that her stepfather saved her by cutting her free. ‘A’ advised Mr. Gaucher that her father woke her up this morning and told her not to tell her mother what happened.”
The mother told police her daughter ‘A’ is very impressionable and sometimes has vivid nightmares. The parent also said the story could not have happened because the student’s stepfather was intoxicated and had passed out on the night of the incident. The report was sent to the RPD’s Criminal Investigations Division (CID) for further investigation.
While Monterrey Elementary had only one report during this timeframe, authorities made a criminal sexual contact of a minor report after two elementary students were seen playing “boyfriend and girlfriend,” which involves the touching of private parts. Both girls said they had learned about their game from their mothers and their corresponding boyfriends. A CYFD referral was later completed.
Out of Nancy Lopez’s six reports, four pertain to the arrest of parent Rachel Castillo, who was charged with failure to pay fines in magistrate court, two charges of failure to comply with community service in municipal court, and failure to pay fines in municipal court after school personnel contacted the RPD for police presence for an upcoming Thanksgiving meal at the school.
A criminal damage report is inactive, pending further leads after police were dispatched to a report of a glass window that had been shattered. An officer observed that the window had been broken in three different locations by a rock and hands. A smeared handprint on the shattered glass was medium-sized. Partial shoe prints appearing to be size 7 were also observed. Damages were estimated at $500.
Lastly, police made a report of assault after an argument broke out in front of kindergarteners and first graders waiting to get picked up. According to the incident report, while a male teacher was on traffic control at the end of a school day, police said a parent asked the teacher where their child was in an aggressive manner. After the teacher then told the father’s kids to go around an area, police were told the parent made an obscene threat, saying I’ll take care of them, or I’ll take care of you.” The school’s principal requested to file a report.
Pecos Elementary racked up the most elementary reports — nine. Pecos was also the only school to have juvenile citations to students issued to elementary students. In this records request, there were a total of four; two of which pertained to public affray, and the others were possession of marijuana. However, two of the juvenile citations were accompanied by a prior incident report.
All of those who were issued a juvenile citation were boys.
Police made a report of battery after a parent told police that school personnel informed her that her son had been jumped by several kids and that he was complaining of stomach pains. After the victim child gave a detailed explanation of the incident, which included a student throwing rocks and dirt at him and another tackling him, the boy told police “these kids are always hitting him.” According to the other children, they were tired of the victim picking on them and got together to hit him.
A dispute occurred between two exes when school personnel tried to send the exes’ child, who had pink eye, home. The child did not have updated contact information.
Police made a report of public affray after they were dispatched to a fight that had occurred during lunch recess. According to school’s principal, the two children agreed to the fight the day before and also recorded it. Two other fights, involving both students were also scheduled for the next two days, the principal had learned. This call led to the juvenile citation for “D” and “J.”
In a separate incident, during lunch recess, several students approached the principal, telling her that a student had marijuana and was trying to sell it.
“Dr. Ryan stated that ‘A’ pulled out a baggie with a marijuana roach from the left-front pocket of his pants,” the report stated.
The student, “A,” told the principal he had gotten the marijuana roach from his cousin and that they were smoking it this morning. When police contacted the student and his mother, “A” told his mother he did not smoke the marijuana roach. The mother later expressed concern about not being able to control her children. Police issued a juvenile citation for possession of marijuana under 8 ounces. Police said they would also contact a CYFD caseworker.
In another instance where police issued a juvenile citation for possession of marijuana under 8 ounces, a student, ‘J,’ had been found with a baggie containing marijuana at the school’s cafeteria.
The student waived his juvenile advice of rights, and agreed with the principal’s recollection of the incident, but did not want to say where he got the baggie from. The father stated he had a good idea. The student said he never tried to give the marijuana to any students, and that this was the first time he was in possession of marijuana.
Valley View Elementary had two reports, one of which was an aggravated battery with a firearm from the evening of Sept. 26, 2017.
According to the incident report, the case was closed due to lack of cooperation by a 16-year-old playing basketball at Valley View who sustained a gunshot wound to the leg. According to what the victim’s father told police, the 16-year-old was playing basketball with his headphones on when a person wearing a mask with a gun struggled with him, leading to the gun going off and striking the man’s right calf.
The gunshot wound, which appeared to be made by a small-caliber handgun, appeared to be more consistent with a self-inflicted injury, according to police and the attending physician. When authorities questioned the victim what caliber the gun was, he shrugged his shoulders.
Lastly, a report of battery was made by police after a Valley View kindergartener saw a bug and ran out of the classroom. After a teacher squatted to the boy’s level to speak with him, the student threw a punch, striking her chin. The teacher told police the student continued to kick and punch her. The teacher mentioned that the student, who is in foster care, has been violent in the past. The student was escorted to the principal’s office.
Washington Avenue also had two reports, one of which was a report of criminal sexual contact of a minor. According to the report, a 7-year-old girl had told her school counselor that her cousin had “messed” with her sexually about a year ago. The student told the school counselor that she had told her parents about the incident, but they did not do anything. The victim’s mother later said to police that when her daughter told her, she made a report with the RPD. Police said due to no new allegations, the case would be closed.
Police also responded to an emergency removal at Washington Avenue. According to the incident report, the school principal contacted police after learning a 9-year-old student had brought a “roach” to school. Police said when they asked the boy about the marijuana, he became upset and said, “Please don’t arrest my mom.”
After performing a welfare check at this student’s home, police observed dog feces on the carpet and learned the water supply had been turned off for nine days and that the residence had bed bugs.
Police also detected a strong odor of marijuana, and that there were two small children within the residence. Police said they contacted SCI in reference to an emergency removal, which led to CYFD arriving at the scene and taking custody of a total of four children. Authorities said the marijuana was confiscated from the school and will be booked into evidence lockers at the RPD.
Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.