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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Lobo Village assault

Woman menaced security officer with handgun, report states

news@dailylobo.com
@ArdeeTheJourno

The UNM Police Department on Friday arrested a woman who threatened to shoot a Lobo Village security officer after a heated argument.

Amber McDonald, wife of Kenneth McDonald, who is also a Lobo Village security officer, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly pulling a handgun on a female officer. Amber was booked at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center.

According to the from UNMPD report, Amber McDonald arrived at Lobo Village with her husband for his shift Thursday night. At about 11 p.m., the female officer reportedly approached Amber McDonald, who was seated inside her car in the parking lot, allegedly to discuss their dispute over the officer’s “interactions with Amber’s husband.”

The conversation eventually became an argument, and the defendant allegedly told the officer that the officer “fucked with the wrong family,” according to the report. She also reportedly said, “I’m going to kick your ass.”

The defendant exited the car with a handgun and pointed it at the officer, who immediately ran to hide behind the vehicle in “fear for her safety,” according to the officer’s testimony. Kenneth McDonald then jumped to grab the gun from his wife, who reportedly shouted that she was “going to kill” the woman officer.

According to the report, the officer told the McDonalds to leave, and they did so without further commotion. The officer then notified UNMPD of the incident, according to the report.

Police were initially unsuccessful in locating the couple. It wasn’t until the two returned to Lobo Village at 1 a.m. on Friday that UNMPD was able to arrest Amber McDonald.

“When police came out, (the McDonalds) had left,” said UNMPD public information officer Tim Stump. “(Officers) looked for them, but couldn’t find them. They got a call that (the McDonalds) came back to Lobo Village, so they came back and arrested the girl.”

According to the same criminal complaint filed against Amber McDonald in the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court, the defendant, who was duly informed of her rights, told interviewers that she pulled the handgun because “she felt threatened by (the woman officer) and exited the vehicle with the handgun only in self defense.” She claimed she ultimately left the gun on the roof of her car during the confrontation.

She also claimed that she did not see a weapon in the officer’s possession during the encounter, according to the complaint.

According to the detention center’s website at press time, Amber is being held for a bail bond of $25,000.

Stump said Amber McDonald committed a fourth-degree felony and could face up to 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

He said the police department has notified Iron Stone Security, the agency that handles security and patrols for Lobo Village. He said the agency, which hires its own officers and does not train with UNMPD, will decide on possible disciplinary actions regarding the incident.

But he said his department demands better training for Iron Stone’s officers. Fortunately, he said, no students were present at the scene of the incident.

“It’s a frightening experience,” he said. “It was at 11 o’clock at night. That’s not too late for people to be coming and going to work, doing what students do there … (Iron Stone Security) should know better (than) to allow any type of that.”

Iron Stone Security declined to comment on the incident. It was not stated in the report who owned the handgun.

According to the National Rifle Association’s website, it is legal in New Mexico for a person to carry a handgun “in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance for lawful protection of the person’s or another’s person or property.”

Stump said UNMPD took the handgun for evidence and would not return it to the McDonalds. He said the complaint will go to the district attorney’s office, and the incident will be considered by a grand jury.