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Video shows inmates fighting COs in NM jail

Two COs, Cedric Patterson and Ricardo Romero, were hospitalized after the tussle

Edmundo Carrillo
Albuquerque Journal, N.M.

SANTA FE, NM — Video obtained by the Journal shows the brief mayhem that occurred as inmates at the Rio Arriba County jail fought with guards in November.

Inmates Daniel Suarez, Jonathan Avila-Cisneros, Christopher Chacon and Cristian Orozco have all been charged with two counts of battery on a peace officer and one count of conspiracy to commit battery on a peace officer.

Two guards, Cedric Patterson and Ricardo Romero, were hospitalized after the tussle.

On the video, inmates can be seen on surveillance video punching and kicking Patterson. Romero slips to the floor and an inmate temporarily puts him in a headlock. Romero reported injuring his back.

According to court records and memos written by jail staff, officers responded to a jail pod — an area that houses inmates — because Suarez was upset that the jail was on lockdown and he couldn’t see his girlfriend.

Romero can be seen on the video opening the door to the inmate pod, then inmates force their way out into the hallway with Romero, Patterson and a female officer.

Suarez pushes past Romero and punches Patterson in the face. Chacon and Avila-Cisneros then jump in and start beating Patterson. Orozco puts Romero in a head lock.

One of the five inmates shown doesn’t participate in the fighting.

The fight breaks up, without much resistance from the inmates, after about 45 seconds, after Romero gets up off the floor and the female officer calls for help using a mobile device.

©2020 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)