Two Albuquerque parents have been accused of throwing fireworks at a Native American homeless man from inside an SUV, an attack witnessed by three children and that left the man with serious burn injuries, according to reports.
Albuquerque police arrested Joshua Benavidez, 31, and Irene Enriquez, also 31, on Wednesday for their alleged role in the July 11 attack, NBC affiliate KOB reported.
Benavidez and Enriquez told KOB they weren’t trying to harm the man, but when they learned how badly he had been hurt, they turned themselves in.
“It was just a prank. It was just trying to scare him. That was it," Benavidez said.
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Both told KOB they wanted to apologize to the man as well as their own children, who were also reportedly in the car at the time of the alleged attack.
Tips identified Benavidez as the owner of a purple SUV seen on surveillance footage leaving the site of the fireworks assault, according to reports.
Benavidez at first denied having been involved in the attack, according to arrest warrants cited by KOB and the Albuquerque Journal.
Benavidez’s son told police he was in the car with his father and Enriquez, as well as Enriquez’s son and a 2-year-old girl, when Benavidez threw the fireworks at the man, according to the warrants cited by the Journal.
Benavidez and Enriquez have been charged with three counts of child abuse, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, aggravated battery with great bodily harm, tampering with evidence and conspiracy. Both are being held on $100,000 cash or bonds.
The homeless victim remains in the intensive care unit at the hospital, according to APD.