Vargas to take anger management classes

Thomas Garcia

A Tucumcari police officer charged for assaulting his wife over text messages to another man will attend anger management classes.

Robert Vargas pleaded not guilty to the charge of aggravated assault and battery of a household member and agreed to attend the anger management classes on March 31, according to court documents.

Vargas must complete the anger management classes before a pre-trial conference set for Sept. 29, according to court documents.

The case was prosecuted by Guadalupe County trial attorney Chris Nedbalek, who was not available for comment.

Vargas, a four-year veteran of the Tucumcari Police Department, turned himself at 3:25 a.m., March 5 at the city police department.

A warrant was issued for Vargas’ arrest following an investigation of a domestic dispute call at 11:35 p.m., March 4 at a residence on the 1700 block of South Jackson.

“Tucumcari police officers were on scene but the case was turned over to state police as one of their officers were involved in the case,” NMSP officer Marcus Lopez wrote in court documents.

Lopez said the victim told him Vargas, whom she identified as her husband, pushed her to the floor of their bedroom, straddled her and began to punch her several times. Lopez said the victim told him she was then moved to the bed where Vargas straddled her again and began hitting her on the face.

“A third party witnessed the assault and called the police,” Lopez said in court documents.

Lopez said he photographed bruising on both arms, her nose was swelling, she had cuts on two right-hand fingers and a large red mark on her forehead.

Lopez said Vargas was not at the scene when police arrived.

Braziel said Vargas was not on duty at the time of the call.

Attempts to contact Vargas have been unsuccessful.