APD: Man tortured disabled woman
Suspect gained victim’s trust, then held her captive in her own home, police say
Police say a man gained the trust of a woman in a wheelchair before holding her captive in her Albuquerque home — torturing her both mentally and physically — for more than a month.
Phillip Perez, 32, is charged with a long list of felonies, including kidnapping, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, aggravated stalking, aggravated burglary, bribery of a witness, neglect of a resident with great physical harm, breaking and entering and criminal damage to property.
He remained in MDC on Friday evening.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, Perez met the 53-year-old woman, who also has lost an arm, at a gas station a block from her North Valley home near Second and Candelaria.
Police say she didn’t know Perez before they met, and he offered to carry her groceries and push her wheelchair home. Because of his “kind attitude and willingness to help,” she told police she agreed to let him stay at her home to sleep, shower and eat.
After a couple days, police say Perez began to yell at her and brought a number of strangers, up to 15, into her home.
The woman told police that’s when she demanded Perez leave or she would call 911 and he told her he would return after the officers left to kill her by hanging her by the neck to see “how long it takes for her to die.”
Police say during his stay Perez took her phone, sold many of her belongings, threatened to burn the house down and tortured her in various ways.
She told police Perez would spin her in her wheelchair until she was dizzy. When she asked him to stop he would reply, “What are you going to do?”
Police say Perez threw knives at her — like target practice — nearly a dozen times and when a knife missed by inches he would tell her the next one would be at her head or heart.
The woman told police she thought Perez enjoyed “seeing the terror in her eyes.”
Police say Perez would randomly punch her in the face and hit her in the head with a hammer after telling her to “be quiet.” When he was out of the home, he blocked the front door with a heavy table and the woman’s mobility issues prevented her from escaping through the back yard.
On Thursday she was able to tell her landlady, who had stopped by, what was going on.
Police say when officers arrived at the home, they found numerous cut marks in the wall — presumably where the knives had missed — multiple bruises on her face and “utter terror, sadness and exhaustion” in her eyes.
Soon after police arrived, Perez returned to the house and was detained.
Perez told police he had been staying with the woman around a month but denied hurting her in any way.