Moriarty Police were called to the Probation and Parole office at 1st Street and Martinez Road Oct. 9, when an employee discovered a backpack bomb leaning against the north side of the building at 1 p.m. 

According to Chief Ike Ensey, Moriarty Police Department secured the area and brought in the State Police bomb squad. The backpack, which contained gasoline and wiring, was X-rayed and then detonated by State Police.

No one was injured and the building did not sustain significant damage, Ensey said, and there were no threats issued beforehand that MPD is aware of. “It wasn’t a real bomb, it was an attempt to make it look like a bomb,” Ensey said. “Not that that makes it any less, but after last year at this time, it’s like, here we go again.”

Violence is not new to the Probation and Parole building. According to MPD, on the 19th of November last year, a window was broken at the same office, and gasoline and a lit flare were thrown inside. “They tried really hard to burn the place down,” Ensey said. “Fortunately, it didn’t burn.”

As of Oct. 9, no arrest had been made in the bomb attempt. Surveillance video from nearby buildings is being analyzed, and Ensey would not comment further on a pending investigation.

The culprits in the 2018 arson were caught and charged, and two of those three individuals are still incarcerated, Ensey said. Officials at Probation and Parole declined to comment on either incident.

Just a few days earlier, both the Moriarty fire and police departments were called out to the Best Western hotel Oct. 4 evening for a small electrical fire that required evacuation the building.

“I’d like to thank the fire and police department, we had a little incident while the mayor was over there, on Friday night. We had a full house and then some, and had to do an evacuation. Everybody showed up, and it got taken care of really quickly,” said city councilor Steve Anaya.

People’s keys and wallets were left inside, in their rooms, so they were left to be refugees in the parking lot. “We had all those guests in there, so Travis and Louis Guenther brought their guitars out, and turned an emergency into something enjoyable,” said Mayor Ted Hart of the evening.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.