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Kintigh calls 2019 crime stats ‘disappointing’

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“Disappointing” and “distressing” are how Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh described crime statistics for December that rounded out 2019, especially regarding the number of homicides.

“This is not happy times,” Kintigh said Jan. 15.

The city of Roswell had nine reported homicides in 2019 compared to 7 in 2018, representing a 28.57% increase, according to statistics released by the Roswell Police Department.

Roswell had its first homicide in June when Alberto Manuel Marin, 33, was fatally shot in front of a residence in the 700 block of West Summit Street.

“And then this place went crazy,” Kintigh said.

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He added that he and city manager Joe Neeb will meet with the city’s public safety team later this month to look at ways to address the situation.

Kintigh though said what is really needed is tougher legislation at the state level.

“We fail to treat violent crime seriously in the state of New Mexico and that has got to change,” he said.

One homicide has already been reported in Roswell in 2020. Isela Muricio-Sanchez, 27, of Roswell was found dead Jan. 7 in her 600 block of East Forest Street residence.

Jorge Rico-Ruvira, 32, is suspected of killing Muricio-Sanchez and then fleeing to Mexico with their three-year-old son, Osiel Ernesto Rico.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Rico-Ruvira charging him with first-degree murder. He also is wanted on a federal warrant charging him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Other crime statistics show that the city of Roswell in 2019 had 32 reports of criminal sexual penetration, 36 robberies and 295 aggravated assaults.

There were 33 reported cases of sexual penetration of a minor, 58 cases of sexual contact with a minor and 67 cases of child abuse reported, according to the statistics.

Non-violent crimes against people, such as weapons violations, harassment, criminal trespassing, kidnapping and public nuisance in 2019 totaled 1,822.

Police responded in 2019 to 301 burglaries, 1,362 larcenies, 130 motor vehicle thefts, 583 reports of criminal damage, 42 reports of graffiti and 497 other property crimes, the statistics state.

In all, police arrested 4,588 people in 2019, a nearly 14% drop from 2018 levels.

The number of reported instances of driving while intoxicated within the city in 2019 rose slightly from 147 to 167.

Traffic citations for 2019 reached 7,038, a 7.8% increase from the year before, according to the statistics.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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