Four gangsters clearly picked the wrong target when they broke into mixed martial arts fighter (MMA) Joe Torrez’s mobile home last week.
In an early morning break-in gone wrong on New Year’s Day morning, Torrez, 27, reportedly defended his home, killing one of the intruders and badly injuring a second man after the group forcibly entered his house in Las Cruces, N.M, The Daily Mail reported.
The two remaining intruders were apparently so shaken after Torrez fatally stabbed one and beat another that they fled the scene and were later apprehended by authorities.
Police found the body of Sal Garces, 25, near the MMA fighter’s trailer home and the injured individual, 20-year-old Nathan Avolos, was taken to the hospital following the clash.
The trouble started around 2 a.m. when Garces, 19, his brother Raymond Garces, 20, Avolos, and Leonard Calvillo, 22, reportedly broke into Torrez’s home, armed themselves with sharp weapons and a fight ensued.
The four intruders are known gang members, police said.
The intrusion allegedly followed a previous altercation, the Daily Mail noted, though definitive motivations for the home attack have not been determined. Some reports have indicated that the battle was part of an ongoing feud between the two parties.
Torrez was inside with his fiancé, son and friends at the time of the break-in. Before the attack, his fiancé’s sister reportedly came into the home and said she had been jumped; it’s unclear if the Garces brothers, Avolos and Calvillo were connected to this alleged attack.
But after his fiancé’s sister arrived with this news, Torrez reportedly received a threatening phone call from Calvillo, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News.
“I’m big Eastside … I’ll kill you and your family,” he allegedly said on the call, referring to a gang he is a part of. “I will go to your house.”
Calvillo purportedly made good on this promise to go to Torrez’s home, though the situation likely didn’t end the way he thought it would.
Authorities have not ruled out charging Torrez in Garces’ death, though the MMA fighter’s lawyer claims his client was simply acting in self-defense. An initial report from the Las Cruces Sun-News noted that police believe Torrez was acting in self-defense.
Both Calvillo and Garces were subsequently arrested and charged with conspiracy and property damage; Calvillo was also charged with aggravated battery, the New York Daily News reported.
(H/T: Daily Mail)