Police Blotter: To’hajiilee man arrested in assault with bat

LOS ANGELES

A To’hajiilee man is now in federal custody in Albuquerque after being arrested on charges of assault in Indian Country resulting in serious bodily harm.

Luke Avery Platero, 30, was arrested on May 10 just a couple of hours after Navajo police began investigating the assault of a To’Hajiilee man, identified in court records as K. B.

According to court records, Navajo police received a phone call from a Navajo woman who said she received a phone call from Platero telling her he had beat up K. B. and needed an ambulance. She then told police where Platero lived.

When police arrived at his house, they found K. B. in Platero’s back yard. Police said he was covered in blood and had visible injuries to his head. Police waited for an ambulance and then started looking for Platero, who was found nearby sitting in a vehicle.

At that time Platero admitted he had hit K. B. with a baseball bat. Platero was transported to the Crownpoint Tribal Jail where he was charged by tribal police with aggravated assault and possession of alcohol. Police found the baseball bat in the back of his vehicle after Platero told them where it was located.

K. B. was transported by ambulance to the University of New Mexico Hospital where he was treated for two substantial bleeds, concussion and substantial blood loss. He immediately underwent surgery and was later placed in intensive care in critical condition.

A day later, Platero was interviewed by the FBI and tribal criminal investigators. He told them that K. B. attacked him first and he was able to avoid being hurt. Later he said K.B. appeared to be drunk and kept trying to hurt him so Platero said he picked up a big rock and hit him with it in the back of his head.

Platero said he had a lot of rage inside of him because of numerous altercations with K. B. in the past which is why he picked up a baseball bat and began hitting him in the head, legs and arms.

Once this was done, he said he went to a neighbor’s house and asked her to call the police.

Shiprock man gets 8 years for strangling girlfriend

LOS ANGELES — A Shiprock man has been sentenced to eight years and four months in federal prison after pleading guilty to strangling his girlfriend during a domestic dispute
In his plea agreement, Dieter Douglas admitted strangling her at least two times during the argument.

According to court records, Douglas was arrested on May 14, 2019 shortly after Navajo police responded to a call by the mother of his ex-girlfriend, who is identified in court records as Jane Doe.

Doe later told a tribal criminal investigator that she was at her mother’s house when her mother answered a knock on the door and found Douglas trying to get in the house, Despite being told he was not welcome, he forced his way in anyway, she said.

Doe sad she knew she would be assaulted but hoped that if she went along with anything he said it wouldn’t happen. So she began drinking Bud Ice with him until they ran out of it. Douglas then left and came back with beer and vodka. Douglas began drinking vodka even though he was advised not to by Doe who told him that when he drinks vodka he gets stupid and out of it.

They eventually went back to a bedroom where Douglas began hitting her some 15 times, Doe said. When he began telling her he was going to kill her, she said she called to her mother to call police.

Doe said Douglas began biting her until she managed to push him away. He then choked her three or four times, stopping only when she became unconscious and may have stopped breathing.

She said when she woke up after the final choking, Douglas told her she had better stay alive. She said she then heard the police drive up to the house. When Douglas heard the police, she said, he began apologizing.

The police report said when Doe was examined, they found she had a bite mark on one forearm and bruises to her neck area.

When Douglas sobered up, he agreed to be interviewed by a tribal criminal investigator and an FBI agent.

He told them he typically drinks until he blacks out which happened on that occasion. He said he remembers going out for beer and vodka and the next thing he remembered was waking up in the tribal jail.

“I’m a real bad alcoholic,” he reportedly said. “I had half a bottle of hair spray and I knew that was going to make me black out so I kind of distanced myself away from the beer and by the time I got back from Hogback, I don’t remember … anything from that point on.”

He said that when he woke up he called Doe and said he was sorry, adding that it was a staff member at the jail who told him he had been charged with battery on a household member. He added that he didn’t even know whom he was accused of battering but figured it was his girlfriend.

He then accused his girlfriend of “setting him up” because she knows how he behaves when he is intoxicated.

NTUA employees shocked by power line

FORT DEFIANCE – Navajo Tribal Utility Authority reports four employees were seriously injured while working on an electric powerline in the Montezuma Creek, Utah, area.
On Sunday, May 16, the employees were working on an electric system upgrade to replace a powerline pole on a 69-kilovolt line.
A heavy gust of wind caused the pole to shift toward a live electric powerline, which triggered an electric current to arc over to the pole. The employees handling the pole were impacted by the electric shock.
The employees were transported to regional hospitals and are receiving high level of health care at two special care facilities. The incident is still under investigation.
“NTUA is requesting the general public to respect the privacy of these individuals and their families,” the enterprise said in a Tuesday news release. “NTUA is also asking for your thoughts and prayers as the employees recover from their injuries.”

Drug operation in Winslow nets 14 arrests

HOLBROOK – On May 13, in an Operation Clean Communities effort in Winslow, 14 arrests were made that targeted opioid and drug sales.

Operation Clean Communities is a proactive approach to target criminal activity and drug sales in the Winslow area.

The arrests include:

• Nikolas Ray Park, 33, arrest for violation of court order.
• Eddie Tsosie, 46, disobeying court order.
• Orville Talayuptewa, 50, possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.
• Laurissa Vigil, 27, dangerous drugs for sale and transportation of dangerous drugs.
• Charles Talayuptewa, 52, possession of drug paraphernalia, dangerous drugs and dangerous drugs for sale.
• Tyro King, 40, possession of drug paraphernalia, dangerous drug use and possession of dangerous drugs for sale.
• Laurissa Vigil, 27, dangerous drugs or sale and transportation of dangerous drugs.
• William Tafoya, 23, violation of court order.
• Mark Clark, 57, violation of court order.
• Virgil Hale, 61, obstruction of justice.
• Michelle Prine, 50, dangerous drugs for sale.
• Yvette Rivera, 52, dangerous drugs for sale.
• Ladonnarose Riggs, 37, possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.
• Andrew Schlechty, 32, failure to comply.

Fruitland man pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter

ALBUQUERQUE – A Fruitland, New Mexico, man faces up to eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter last week in federal court in Albuquerque.
Felix Curtis, 25, will remain in federal custody until the formal sentencing which has not yet been set.

According to court records, Curtis was intoxicated when he drove over roads on the Navajo Reservation in San Juan County. During that trip, he caused an accident resulting in the death of one man.
In his guilty plea, he admitted that he was driving recklessly without any regard for human life.

Navajo Co. Sheriff’s Office report for May 9-15

HOLBROOK – The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office reports the following activity for the week of May 9 to May 15.

On May 9, deputies investigated an inmate-on-inmate assault. Carla Baca, 35, of Holbrook, was arrested and charged with assault.

On May 10, investigated an inmate assault on a detention deputy. Reese Ahasteen, 18, of Winslow, was arrested for the assault.

On May 15, another inmate-on-inmate fight was reported. Paul Serna, 26, of Holbrook, and Jeremy Laban, 38, of Polacca, were charged with disorderly conduct/fighting.

U.S. Marshals, FBI warn of phone scams

MOBILE, Ala. – The U.S. Marshals and the FBI are alerting the public of several nationwide imposter scams involving individuals claiming to be U.S. Marshals, court officers/officials, or other law enforcement officials.

They urge people to report the calls to their local FBI office and file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, which has the ability to detect patterns of fraud from the information collected and share that data with law enforcement.

During these calls, scammers attempt to collect a fine in lieu of arrest for failing to report for jury duty or other offenses. Intended victims are told they can avoid arrest by purchasing a prepaid debit card such as a Green Dot card or gift card and read the card number over the phone to satisfy the fine, or by depositing/transferring funds into bitcoin or other crypto-currency.

Scammers use many tactics to sound credible. They sometimes provide information like badge numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials and federal judges, and courthouse addresses.
Scammers may also spoof their phone numbers to appear on caller ID as if they are calling from the court or a government agency.

If you believe you were a victim of such a scam, you are encouraged to report the incident to your local FBI office and to the FTC.

The U.S. Department of Justice launched the National Elder Fraud Hotline, which provides services to seniors who may be victims of financial fraud. The hotline’s toll-free number is 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311).


About The Author

Bill Donovan

Bill Donovan has been writing about the Navajo Nation government since 1971 and for the Navajo Times since 1976. He is currently semi-retired and is living in Torrance, California, and continues to report for the Navajo Times.

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