Assailant terrorizes strangers

By Tobie Baker Journal staff writer

A leisurely stroll around the neighborhood turned terrifying Tuesday when an assailant yielding a machete attacked two women in broad daylight.

Wishing to remain anonymous, the victim told the Cortez Journal that she and her mother were walking in their neighborhood on North Harrison Street Tuesday about 7 p.m. when an unknown man approached them carrying a machete.

“He started mumbling something; then we saw he was covered in blood,” the victim said.

The victims ran to the safety of their home. Moments later, the attacker kicked down their front door. That’s when police say the assailant yelled at the victims, telling them they better clear out of the neighborhood because a bomb was going to explode.

“He had the machete raised above his head,” the victim said.

Both victims safely escaped the residence. A passerby looking to buy a home in the neighborhood stopped, and provided refuge to the victims inside his vehicle. Police officers and sheriff deputies responded to the scene within minutes.

“We had never seen this man,” the victim said.

In addition, police say the attacker also terrorized up to four additional nearby residents on Tuesday, including a 90-year-old man.

According to a Cortez Police Department report, Walter Marquez, 36, of Cortez was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree burglary, six counts of felony menacing, false report of explosives, two counts of criminal mischief, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in relation to the incident.

Reports indicated Marquez didn’t obey several verbal commands to drop the machete, forcing officers to Tase Marquez three times, kick his arm, deliver two or three brachial stuns to his neck and knee-kick his lower leg before being able to place him in custody.

No physical injuries were reported, but victims were traumatized by the attack, police said.

The victim who spoke to the Cortez Journal said she plans to take a self-defense class and apply for a concealed weapons permit as a result of the incident.

“I’m going to get a permit for sure,” she said.

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