Homeless man killed at Coronado Park; concerns remain prevalent | KOB 4
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Homeless man killed at Coronado Park; concerns remain prevalent

J.R. Oppenheim and Brittany Costello
May 01, 2018 05:52 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A "violent fist fight" between two homeless men turned deadly Monday afternoon, according to an Albuquerque Police Department spokesperson.

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APD launched another homicide investigation Monday after finding the deceased man at Coronado Park in northwest Albuquerque. It’s the same park where homelessness has caused concerns for business owners and residents.

Public Information Officer Simon Drobik said they took the second man, Burnest Benjamin, in for questioning. According to investigators, Benjamin told police he hit the victim with a stick. APD charged him with open count of murder.

The victim died at the scene. He has been tentatively identified, Drobik said, but his next of kin has not yet been notified.

This is the 27th homicide in Bernalillo County this year and the 23rd in the Albuquerque city limits.

Dozens of residents and businesses have complained about the transient problems near Coronado Park for years. It's common to see baskets filling sidewalks and people passed out in parks.

"It's usually just people sleeping or just moving their things from one place to another. I’ve never seen violence or anything like that. That was the first time," Robert Gipson said.

Gipson found out, shortly after recording a man with a stick, someone ended up dying at the park.

"We do have a large concentration of homeless citizens in this area of Albuquerque due to the provision of social services for that population," said David Simon, the Director of Parks and Recreation.

But it's not as easy as telling some of those people to move elsewhere. Simon, the city, APD and non-profits are working on some type of solution.

"It is very important for the homeless to receive those services and they do have rights to be in public places but we are considering all options to work together collaboratively to see what we can do to improve the park," Simon said.

There's no timeline on when a solution or new program for this particular area will be announced or implemented. 

Credits

J.R. Oppenheim and Brittany Costello

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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