November 11, 2023: Tomas Fragua, 22, of Santa Fe, has been identified by detectives as the culprit in the early Friday morning stabbing incident. After obtaining an arrest warrant, detectives have filed three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon against Mr. Fragua. The Santa Fe Police are asking our community for help in finding Mr. Fragua. Please give the Santa Fe Police Department a call at 505-428-3710 or Detective Francisco Alvarado at 505-955-5251 if you have any information on his whereabouts. Do not try to approach Mr. Fragua if you see him, since he is armed and dangerous. Please give 911 a call right now.
About four and twenty-five a.m. Santa Fe police officers were called to De Vargas Park, located at 302 West De Vargas Street, on Friday morning in response to a complaint of several stabbing victims. Three victims who were stabbed at Skate Park and suffered injuries were found by responding authorities. To receive medical attention, each casualty was brought to a nearby hospital. Two victims are in critical condition, and one is in stable condition at this time. A higher level of treatment was provided to one of the critically ill victims through emergency surgery, while the other patient was sent to a UNMH. The community is invited to provide any images, sounds, or videos that are connected to this event using the Axon Community Request link.
Sta. Fe Crime Stats for last year
Before the year ends, Sta. Fe police department tallies crimes before uploading them to the national database. Last year’s report seemed grossly low-balled.
2020 saw three homicides in Santa Fe, the capital’s lowest level in five years.
The FBI’s yearly attempt to compile statistics from hundreds of locations around the country, known as the Uniform Crime Report, is now available, and it shows that the homicide number for New Mexico’s fourth-largest city is even lower.
It appears to be 0, in fact.
This is due to the Santa Fe Police Department’s, sometimes significantly, underreporting of homicides and almost all other crimes included in the 2020 UCR.
Additionally, the department’s 2019 UCR figures are wildly inaccurate.
Deputy Chief Paul Joye informs SFR that the department’s yearly reports, which are submitted to the City Council annually as a component of the department’s budget proposal, provide a more realistic picture of crime in the city.
Joye states, “I think the numbers we provided to the governing body should be the most accurate.” “We make every effort to confirm those.”
If it’s accurate, take into account that the SFPD reported 90 aggravated assaults to the FBI and 343 to the council in 2020. In its annual report from the previous year, the agency reported 425 cases of aggravated assault, with 230 of those cases occurring in the UCR.
The disparity in the theft data is even more pronounced: 1,843 in the 2020 report to the council and 563 for the UCR; 2,465 in the annual report from the previous year and just 1,472 for the FBI’s national snapshot.
According to Deputy Chief Ben Valdez, department brass was unaware of the disparities until SFR brought them to their attention last week. He also states that they are determined to make sure the figures match going forward.
Critical record-keeping protocols inside the department are called into doubt and highlighted by the mishandling of statistical reporting. A public safety consultant published a harsh assessment last year detailing several issues with the SFPD evidence room, including the loss of evidence related to a first-degree murder prosecution.
Additionally, in a letter sent to the SFPD only last month, Assistant District Attorney Tony Long listed several materials that were missing from the case file related to the well-publicized shooting of a Santa Fe juvenile. Long warned the department that although police bolstered the investigation—which included one of the 2020 killings not included in the Uniform Crime Report—prosecutors would have to drop charges against the accused.
The low-balled numbers in the previous two UCRs might have major repercussions; it’s not merely a question of appearances, which falsely portray Santa Fe as dramatically defying the nationwide trend of an increase in a number of distinct crime categories.
The bureau not only records crime for the country but also distributes millions of dollars through its Justice Assistance Grant program using the UCR as a benchmark. A police department’s grant funds may be withdrawn if statistics are not submitted to the UCR or are reported incorrectly.
For SFPD, that would equate to tens of thousands of dollars. The majority of it, according to Valdez, is used for the department’s traffic safety initiatives, which include radar equipment and more.
It is indeed worrying that something may be in danger, he remarks. “Those assignments must still be completed, funding permitting.”
The number of homicides recorded by the SFPD has been inconsistent for at least the past two years. While reporting none to the FBI, the department informed SFR and the Santa Fe New Mexican in 2020 that there had been three. Police informed SFR that seven individuals had been killed in the city the year before, but they only reported eight cases to the City Council and the New Mexican and just five to the FBI.
Joye and Valdez were unable to explain how their department produced crime numbers with such stark differences. The New Mexico Department of Public Safety, which is mandated by law to oversee the UCR program for all state law enforcement agencies, is the target of Valdez’s criticism.