A Rio Rancho man could face up to five years in prison after allegedly stabbing a local tea shop employee in the arm with a small pocketknife.
At about 1:30 p.m. April 8, the Rio Rancho Police Department responded to a call of an assault at HiBoba InfiniTea off of Southern Boulevard.
Multiple witnesses told officers that a man with shoulder-length wavy hair, “scruffy” facial hair and a small tattoo on his face — later identified as 30-year-old Jonah Padilla — entered the shop, stole a tip jar then left. A male employee followed the suspect outside the shop, according to a criminal complaint.
After the employee caught up to the suspect, Padilla dropped the tip jar, allegedly pulled out a pocketknife and cut the victim on the right arm.
An officer later said the employee received a dime-sized stab wound to his “shoulder area,” which was tended to by emergency medical services personnel.
Padilla was later found less than a mile east at Domino’s Pizza with blood on his shirt along with several cuts on his hand that were still bleeding, the pocketknife and $6 in blood-covered bills.
He told officers that he was not the suspect that was being sought after and was confused as to why he was being detained, according to the complaint.
Padilla is being charged with alleged aggravated battery (deadly weapon), third-degree felony; aggravated assault (deadly weapon), fourth-degree felony; and larceny ($250 or less), petty misdemeanor.
He gave no plea at his April 11 initial appearance.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 1 p.m. May 24.
If convicted, Padilla could be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison and pay a $11,000 fine.