Huning Highlands neighborhood on edge following string of fires
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Neighbors in the Huning Highlands neighborhood in downtown Albuquerque have been on edge for months.
Now, another fire engulfed an abandoned house on Gold and High Street early Friday morning.
Residents in the area say this fire, and many others come from one man – Sly Jones.
Officials say Jones was detained Friday. Police arrested him a week ago for arson, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a controlled substance, according to court documents.
Then, just days later, metro court Judge Yvette Gonzales found he wasn’t at risk, and released him.
Court documents also show Jones set multiple dumpsters on fire back in 2021. The charges Jones was released on don’t stray far from this neighborhood.
KOB 4 spoke with Ben Sturge days ago on his latest interaction with Jones earlier in the week — Sturge was a victim in his latest arrest.
“He started throwing bricks, he threw a chunk of concrete at me. I had a can of pepper spray and I used it just to get him to stop,” said Ben Sturge, an east downtown homeowner.
With new ashes on the ground, neighbors are raising more concerns.
“It seems to me this is a very broken judicial system here,” said Sturge.
Jessie Travino expressed his run-ins with Jones in the past too.
“Our fence behind our house has been lit on fire five times, and the last time it was fully engulfed,” said Jessie Trevino.
Travino ran out of his house Friday morning yelling at who he believed was Jones.
Residents told KOB 4 they reached out to the city multiple times for help.
“There’s been emails sent to the mayor’s office to City Councilor Issac Benton’s office and sort of very light to no response,” said Jennifer Esquivel.
After the recent house went up in flames they are asking for more to be done.
“It’s frustrating because complaints have been made and nothing has been done,” said Esquivel. “We hope the city steps up and does their job to protect this neighborhood, to protect Albuquerque as a whole.