Ex-candidate facing Texas charges, too

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — More charges have surfaced against Gary Smith, the former Albuquerque congressional candidate accused of stalking and slashing the tires of his opponent.

A new warrant has been filed against him in New Mexico, and we now know he is wanted on similar charges in El Paso, Texas.

An old neighbor says Smith slashed their tires and even tried to burn their house down before moving to New Mexico.

The neighbor says he caught some of the action on tape. 

Albuquerque police just filed an arrest warrant for Smith charging him with aggravated stalking and accusing him of repeatedly slashing the tires of his former campaign manager.

When an El Paso man heard Smith was in jail in Albuquerque for stalking and slashing the tires of his political opponent, Janice Arnold-Jones, he immediately called Albuquerque police.

"He said, ‘Hey, I just saw the story. He was my neighbor, and he terrorized me for several years. He slashed my tires. He tried to burn my house down,’” Albuquerque Police Department Detective Lorenzo Garcia told KRQE News 13.

In fact, surveillance video obtained by the Santa Fe Reporter newspaper shows the alleged tire slashing from February of last year.

The neighbor had been filing complaints with El Paso Police as early as 2008.

Albuquerque police confirmed El Paso police now have a warrant for Smith's arrest for a felony charge of aggravated assault and misdemeanor vandalism.

Garcia says the El Paso allegations show just how dangerously Smith was behaving.

“I realized we avoided something that could've been really tragic because it was escalating, and I'm glad we stopped it when we did,” Garcia says.

Smith was in court Friday after violating conditions of his release by driving by the home of Arnold-Jones only days after getting out of jail.  Smith and Arnold-Jones competed for the Republican congressional nomination, which Arnold-Jones won.

"I'm going to make a specific finding at this point that you are a very real and significant danger to these people,” says Judge Daniel Ramczyk of Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

Smith says he didn't understand no contact meant he had to stay away from Arnold-Jones' street.

“If you could convey for me for them to please not worry. There's no reason for them to worry,” Smith told the judge in court. “I don't want Janice to worry.”

“I don't think they want to hear from you or see you probably ever again,” Ramczyk responded.

“I do think he is a danger,” Arnold-Jones said after Smith’s hearing. “It escalates. I'm not sure he realizes he's doing it. That's probably the scariest part about it.”

All three of these cases involved surveillance video and multiple visits to victims' homes.

Smith's former campaign manager says he has had more than 50 tires slashed since June of last year.

It's going to be tough for Smith to get out of jail.

He would have to come up with $150,000 in cash for two of his cases in Albuquerque. The most recent warrant is set at $75,000 cash or surety.

Copyright 2014 KRQE TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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New Mexico (change)

 
New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.
 
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Governor: Susana Martinez
Lieutenant Governor: John Sanchez
Attorney General: Gary King
Secretary of State: Dianna J. Durán

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