Sunday, September 19, 2021
68° Clear
in Window Rock

Select Page

Police Blotter: Tohatchi man arrested for kidnapping, rape


A Tohatchi, New Mexico, man was arrested Nov. 17 after Gallup Police rescued a woman who said he kidnapped and raped her.

According to police reports, Ryan Thompson, 31, approached a 29-year-old woman he knew as she was getting gas at a service station in Gallup on Nov. 15, telling her to get into her vehicle where she had her three-year-old daughter. The complaint said she knew him because of past abuse.

After taking away her cell phone, he got into the driver’s seat and they drove off. He drove them to a rocky hill past the Pentecostal Church near Tohatchi, forcing her to drink vodka, threatening to hit her in the eye if she didn’t comply. According to the complaint, she tried to drive away when Thomson got out of the vehicle to urinate but Thompson stopped her and dragged her out of the vehicle and told her to take off her clothes. When she complied, she was raped, according to complaint.

After the assault, the complaint said Thompson told her to pick a tree, telling her he planned to kill her and her daughter and bury them by the tree. He didn’t carry out the threat. Instead, he made them sleep in the vehicle with him that night, refusing to let them out of the vehicle for any reason, even to go to the bathroom.

The next morning he drove them to his parent’s home in Tohatchi. Once there, the woman said she was afraid to tell his parents what was going on because they knew their son physically abused her in the past and didn’t do anything about it. They stayed at the residence that night and the woman said she managed to write two notes explaining what was happening. She left one note under the parent’s bedroom door and the other in the father’s hat. Both notes asked them to call the police.

On the next day, Nov. 17, the woman said Thompson forced her to go to a nearby house in Tohatchi and as he was stealing items from the house, she got in the driver’s seat and drove away with her daughter. When she got to Gallup, city police officers stopped her and once she gave them an account of what she had been through, the FBI was contacted to arrest Thompson.

The woman was taken to the Gallup Indian Medical Center where she was treated for a broken nose and other injuries.

Thompson is now facing federal charges of kidnapping and sexual assault.

Woman dies in possible arson

GALLUP – Navajo Nation Police are investigating a possible arson in which a woman died.

According to the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a structure fire at 202 Mariano Lake Loop about 4 a.m. Sunday. When deputies arrived, they found a house engulfed in flames and a Navajo police officer walking behind the structure. He told deputies that Colin Martin said he was awakened by his nephew who told him the front door was on fire.

He said he broke a window and he and his nephew crawled out of the window. Knowing that his mother was still in the building, Martin said he at first tried to get back in the house by the front door but was overwhelmed by smoke so he broke the back window by his mother’s bedroom. He said he tried to tell his mother to get out of the building but the area around her window was very hot. He said he managed to grab his mother’s hand but the flesh came off and he watched as the roof of the house fell on top of her.

An investigation by police revealed foot tracks leading away from the residence, going to an abandoned trailer about 200 feet east of the residence. They then picked them up again leading to a shed where they found 211 beer cans. They then followed the tracks to a nearby residence where they stopped their investigation because it was on Navajo land and a criminal investigator for the Navajo police was scheduled to arrive at any time. The deputies at that time left the scene, leaving the investigation to Navajo police.

Nazlini man pleads guilty to child abuse

GALLUP – A Nazlini, Arizona, man was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to child abuse.

Nathan Joe, 34, was originally charged with two counts of child abuse, one for a boy and the other for a girl. He pleaded guilty to the charge involving abuse of the boy.

According to his plea agreement, Joe took the six-year-old boy into a back bedroom of the home they shared on Feb. 25, 2014. He had become angry at the boy and while in the bedroom, he admitted to striking the boy in the face, resulting in significant bruising. What made the situation worse, according to court records, was that the boy had suffered a traumatic brain injury in the past.

Joe had faced a maximum of 45 months in prison for the charge. He has been in prison since March of 2016 and had already served his sentence, so the court ordered his release.

 To read the full article, pick up your copy of the Navajo Times at your nearest newsstand Thursday mornings!

Are you a digital subscriber? Read the most recent three weeks of stories by logging in to your online account.

  Find newsstand locations at this link.

Or, subscribe via mail or online here.

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.


Weather & Roads

Window Rock Weather

38% humidity
wind: 10mph SW
H 80 • L 49

More weather »