Updated: September 23, 2021 06:11 PM
Created: September 23, 2021 05:30 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office is criticizing the court system after a suspect released by a judge allegedly assaulted a gas station employee in Albuquerque.
Cell phone video from a witness shows a man brutally attacking the woman and kicking her in the head before punching another man who tried to stop him. It happened at the Speedway on 4th Street two weeks ago.
The victim told deputies she confronted the man after he tried to buy alcohol. He wouldn't show her his ID and walked out with the alcohol without paying. Then, he returned to the store and started beating her up.
The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office shared the video on Facebook.
"We think it's really important for people to know that something really terrible happened in our community and there was a solution to that problem by keeping this offender in jail,” said Jayme Fuller, a spokesperson for BCSO. “Unfortunately that's not what took place and an innocent woman got violently beaten while she was just trying to make a living."
Tips from the community helped identify the suspect as 35-year-old Courtney McCalep. Deputies arrested him on Tuesday for the assault.
McCalep has a lengthy arrest history. The jail sent KOB 4 25 of his mug shots dating back to 2006.
Sheriff's investigators say McCalep was out of jail on an ankle monitor awaiting trial for allegedly attacking a man with a crowbar after a minor car accident last year.
Court records show prosecutors filed a motion for pretrial detention at the time. But a judge denied the motion and released McCalep on an ankle monitor.
The sheriff's office said the shocking video is an example of a flawed criminal justice system and what can happen when violent repeat offenders are let out of jail.
"It's unfortunate and it's the brutal reality of what our bail reform is doing in New Mexico right now," Fuller said.
Prosecutors have filed a new motion for pretrial detention, asking a judge to keep McCalep in jail until his trial for the latest case. A hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday.
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