Man Involved In SWAT Incident Charged With Child Abuse

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gardner__rocky_19780515Las Cruces, N.M. — A 36-year-old Las Cruces man who was in a brief standoff with police Wednesday evening, has been charged with one count of intentional child abuse resulting in great bodily harm.

At around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, Las Cruces Police were called to a disturbance on the 3800 block of Van Ess Court. Officers learned that the suspect in the disturbance, later identified as Rocky Gardner, was inside of his residence and refusing to leave.

Officers made several attempts to speak with Gardner but all were initially unsuccessful. To ensure the safety of all involved LCPD’s SWAT team was called out and Gardner eventually entered the backyard where he was taken into custody.

No shots were fired and no injuries were reported.

Detectives learned that Gardner and the 13-year-old son of Gardner’s girlfriend got into an argument sometime Wednesday afternoon. Detectives learned that the argument escalated and Gardner is suspected of striking the teenager, and then strangling the boy leaving him unconscious for a moment.

The teen’s older brother, a 17-year-old, intervened and pulled his sibling to safety. The two boys then went to a neighbor’s home where they waited for police to arrive. The 13-year-old boy’s injuries were not life-threatening.

Gardner was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center with bond set at $50,000.

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