BERNALILLO — Sandoval County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man on charges including child abuse and negligent use of a firearm after responding to a shots-fired call at the 13th Judicial District Complex in Bernalillo on Tuesday night.
No one was injured.
The suspect was identified as 36-year-old Cuylar Wright Pagano of Rio Rancho, according to the criminal complaint.
According to the complaint, Pagano is charged with five counts of abandonment or abuse of a child, three counts of resisting an officer and one count of negligent use of a deadly weapon.
“Basically, the guy had showed up around 6:40 in the evening in front of district court and had supposedly shot off a round. The deputies made contact with the subject, and he was arrested,” said Lt. John Castañeda, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, on Wednesday morning. “We’re seeing if anybody else was with him or involved.”
Pagano was booked into the Sandoval County Detention Center.
All Sandoval County employees were under a three-hour work delay Wednesday morning as a safety precaution.
No information on whether Pagano has an attorney was listed on the New Mexico Courts website as of Wednesday night.
According to the criminal complaint, two sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the front of the courthouse about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday when a male called dispatch and said he accidently fired a gun in the parking lot.
Per the criminal complaint, the deputies observed a blue Hyundai parked about 50 feet from the building and spoke with Pagano’s wife, who reportedly told them Pagano went to the side of the building. Approaching the southwest side of the courthouse, the deputies found him lying face down with two “AR-15 type weapons” approximately 10 feet away, according to the criminal complaint.
After Pagano was handcuffed and checked for other weapons, a deputy saw a handgun that appeared to have malfunctioned during firing next to the two rifles, per the criminal complaint.
When deputies asked Pagano’s wife if they were arguing when he fired the gun, she said no and that she didn’t understand why they were at the courthouse, according to the complaint.
Pagano kept telling deputies, “This was the safe thing to do” and that “God told him to come here where it was safe,” according to the criminal complaint.
As Pagano was being placed into a sheriff’s vehicle, the criminal complaint said, he pulled away from deputies and pushed backward to prevent them from walking him to the vehicle. It took three deputies to secure him in the backseat.
The criminal complaint also said that a video shows that Pagano sped into the parking lot, exited the vehicle and had the children get out, put their jackets on and get back into the vehicle. Then, he brought the AR-15s to the sidewalk and placed them on the ground, per the criminal complaint.
The complaint said the video didn’t show Pagano firing a gun, but he and his wife said he did. Also, a deputy saw a shell casing on the ground next to the driver’s door.
Deputies decided Pagano “placed the children in a situation that endangered the children’s life or health,” per the criminal complaint.
Pagano remained at SCDC Wednesday afternoon, according to records.
Castañeda said investigators executed a search warrant Wednesday on Pagano’s residence in the 2500 block of Withington Peak Drive. He didn’t have information on what evidence they were seeking.