LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office (DASO) officials held a news conference Wednesday afternoon about a wild incident at a Doña Ana convenience store earlier in the day.
As footage of the incident played on flat screens behind them, law enforcement officials identified 43-year-old Elee Garcia Silva as the suspect in the destruction and assault caught on the security cameras at Chucky’s Convenience Store.
Silva is seen entering the story in an obviously agitated state and immediately begins yelling at the female attendant behind the counter. Silva then begins to toss various cans and other merchandise at the woman as she tries to hide behind the displays.
As Silva makes his way to a register opposite the sales counter entrance, the woman runs for the door. Silva rips out the register and knocks over more product displays in the store’s checkout area.
A short time later, Silva is seen on another camera approaching an SUV at the gas pumps in front of the store.
As he yells and flails his arms, Silva forces the passenger door open, tossing out the driver’s personal items, followed by the man’s small dog. He then opens the rear doors, and pulls off the SUV’s rear wiper arm, before making his way to the driver’s side area.
Once there, Silva attacks the driver, chasing him into the parking lot. Silva’s attack is interrupted by several witnesses who come to the man’s aid and chase Silva into an empty lot across the street.
Deidra Baeza, one of the store clerks who came to her shift after the incident, said they had to clean the damage for several hours.
Baeza noticed her co-worker who was one of the victims was in distress.
“She was crying and she was scared. And traumatized, I’m pretty sure,” Baeza said.
Manager of the store, Delilah Morales said they are estimating the damage might be greater than $20,000, explaining it’s an immense loss for a mom-and-pop shop.
DASO deputies responded to the scene a short time later and took Silva into custody. Officials share that Silva was arrested and charged with:
- Criminal Damage to Property
- Aggravated Battery
- Simple Battery
- Cruelty to Animals
Sheriff Stewart said the victims suffered minor injuries and the dog was in good condition.
According to court documents obtained by KTSM, this was not Silva’s first violent, public outburst. On March 23, 2020, Silva had an outburst at the Walmart on South Valley Drive.
During that encounter, he was yelling inside the store and “not making sense.” LCPD officers determined that Silva was having a ‘mental crisis’ and took him into custody.
Once at the hospital, Silva spit on an officer’s face and refused to identify himself.
Silva was charged with Battery of a Peace Officer, and Concealing Identity.
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