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Felon Suspected of Pointing Rifle at Las Cruces Restaurant Employee

Jul 8, 2019

A convicted felon and armed robbery suspect who is connected to a pair of stolen horses that were located in Texas in May is now facing a slew of charges for an incident that occurred Friday evening at a Las Cruces fast food restaurant.

Ruben Sanchez, 31, of the 200 block of Hope Road in Radium Springs, N.M., is charged with three counts of child abuse, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

About 7 p.m. Friday, July 5, Las Cruces police were dispatched to the report of a man with a gun at the Jack in the Box restaurant, 4615 Sonoma Ranch Blvd. Officers arrived to find Sanchez behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi Eclipse that was in the drive-thru lane. Also in the car were Sanchez’s three children ages 4 years, 2 years and 7 months.

Las Cruces police investigators learned that Sanchez, who was armed with a .22 caliber rifle and wearing a bullet-proof vest, went to the restaurant and was yelling at his girlfriend who works there. When a Jack in the Box employee went outside to see what Sanchez wanted, Sanchez allegedly pointed the rifle at the employee.

A Las Cruces police officer arrived within a minute and located Sanchez in the drive-thru lane. Sanchez’s three kids were in the backseat of the vehicle and the .22 caliber rifle was laying between the front and back seats, pointing toward where the children were sitting. The rifle had one round in the chamber. A 30-round magazine for the rifle was discovered in a diaper bag and a bullet-proof vest was recovered from the vehicle.

The rifle was reported stolen in 2018. Investigators interviewed Sanchez who acknowledged his involvement in the incident. Sanchez was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center just after midnight on July 6. He was released about 12 hours later on his own recognizance.

Sanchez is linked to an armed robbery that occurred May 11 in Anthony, Texas. In that case, Sanchez was apprehended by Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office deputies after a vehicle pursuit ended in a crash. DASO investigators then learned of Sanchez’s possible involvement in the theft of a horse trailer and two horses from an arena near Harvey Farms Road. The horses were eventually located in Midland County, Texas.

Information from Las Cruces Police