Amber Alert suspect claims police falsely identified him
May 24, 2018 07:08 PM
SANTA FE, N.M. – A man who police identified in a Sunday Night Amber Alert is now saying police got it wrong.
Joseph Gallegos said he wants his name cleared. Police identified him along with his brother Lawrence Gallegos in connection to armed robbery and abduction of a mother and her 18-month-old son. Joseph Gallegos said because of that, his reputation around Santa Fe has been tarnished.
He believes police did without even confirming vital information before they sent his picture out to the masses.
"I may look the way I look with my tattoos and everything, but that doesn't pave the road for who I really am inside," he said.
Gallegos claims he has an alibi. He said he wasn't involved in an armed robbery at a Motel Six in Santa Fe Sunday and certainly wasn’t involved in the possible abduction of Michelle Martinez and her 18-month-old son, Julian.
"I was with my family the whole entire time this was going on," Gallegos said.
That evening, he said he'd just dropped his kids off when he was approached by police with their guns drawn, arrested and then taken into custody.
"Took me to a room, stayed in that room for about two and a half hours. It felt like an eternity to me," he said.
He claims eventually police came back into the room and apologized to him, saying they messed up. He blames inaccurate information relayed to police by Martinez's mother and boyfriend, which he feels led to his name being dropped.
"Excuse me for saying it, but I think they were lazy," Gallegos said. "They were the ones playing the game of telephone. What they were doing is they were getting information and names and going off of that instead of doing the investigation."
Now Gallegos is doing damage control in many areas of his life.
"My business, I've lost two jobs since the whole incident," he said.
He's even fearful he may be kicked out of his apartment but, most importantly, he's worried his reputation will be forever ruined.
"Kids that look up to me, people that know me, they know that I'm not this type of person," Gallegos said.
Days after the incident, Gallegos has this to say to the Santa Fe Police Department.
"Please, do your homework before you guys actually come out here and accuse an innocent person because I am 100 percent innocent in this situation," he said. "I did not do anything."
When Gallegos was picked up Sunday evening, he had two unrelated warrants out for his arrest. He was later released on Monday.
KOB did reach out to the Santa Fe Police Department, and they're working to confirm the exact details of what happened following that Amber Alert and with Gallegos arrest. Police say they will eventually release a statement when all information is reviewed and confirmed.
Updated: May 24, 2018 07:08 PM
Created: May 23, 2018 09:33 PM
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