Sheriff’s deputy charged with battering wife


A Taos County Sheriff's Deputy has been charged with two counts of battery after he allegedly attacked his wife and a man at a residence on Blueberry Hill Road in Taos the night of Jan. 25.

Deputy Mauro Rosales was arraigned Jan. 29 in Taos Magistrate Court, where he entered a plea of not guilty on both counts.

In an interview with responding New Mexico State Police Officer Eduardo Cabanas, Rosales said he never touched his wife, 32-year-old SueAnn Rosales, and had only acted in self-defense when he said he was attacked by Miguel Mateo Romero, an 18-year-old man his wife admitted she had been "seeing" after the deputy encountered them inside his home.

Cabanas noted and photographed injuries on Mauro Rosales' hands, including a bleeding finger, according to a statement of probable cause.

During a prior interview with the alleged victims, Cabanas also documented multiple injuries SueAnn Rosales and Romero had sustained during the incident.

SueAnn Rosales had several bruises and welt marks on her arms and waist, as well as a "fresh" bump on her head. Cabanas wrote in the report that Romero had several "knots" on the back of his head.

Both of the alleged victims told Cabanas that Mauro Rosales entered the residence around 10:30 p.m. and instigated a violent exchange.

Romero said that Rosales approached him and challenged him. Romero said he responded by stating, "It's not worth it."

Rosales then allegedly kicked Romero in the chest and started throwing punches.

The altercation moved down a hallway of the home and into a bedroom, where Rosales allegedly connected with a punch to Romero's chin, sending him to the floor. Romero said Rosales proceeded to kick and knee him in the ribs and punch him several times in the back of the head as he tried to get to his feet.

During the interview, Rosales admitted to striking Romero in the back of the head, but denied kicking or kneeing Romero. He claimed that Romero had thrown the first punch.

SueAnn Rosales said she attempted to get between the two men, when her husband allegedly grabbed her and swung her around, causing her to hit her head on the corner of a dresser nearby.

Rosales again provided a different version of this narrative, telling the officer that his wife had not been picked up, but had run into the dresser.

Romero eventually left the residence. He said Rosales phoned him as he was leaving the property and asked Romero to wait for him – a request Romero said he ignored.

SueAnn Rosales told Cabanas she believed Mauro Rosales was not on duty at the time of the incident. Both claimed that they had been in the process of filing for a divorce. Mauro Rosales added, however, that he had been attempting to make the marriage work prior to the Jan. 25 altercation.

Rosales was one of two deputies honored by Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe for saving an 18-year-old would-be-jumper at the Río Grande Gorge Bridge in 2015.

Hogrefe said that Rosales was placed on standard administrative leave "pending the outcome of the criminal case."

A pretrial hearing for Rosales is scheduled for March 31 in Taos Magistrate Court.