STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A 43-year-old Steamboat Springs man was arrested Wednesday night and charged with two counts of felony menacing after threatening his roommate and a neighbor with a kitchen knife.
Gabriel Alberto-Mejia is accused of turning a knife on two people at a residence in the Sleepy Bear Mobile Home Park west of town. He did not explain a motive to officers, but he did mention fears about an international gang.
The suspect’s neighbor received a text message Wednesday night from his cousin, who is also the suspect’s roommate. The text message said Alberto-Mejia had threatened a different roommate with a knife. When the neighbor went to check on his cousin, Alberto-Mejia lifted the knife and pointed it at him.
Steamboat Springs Police Department officers and Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at about 10:15 p.m. and interviewed the alleged victims. The suspect was not on scene when deputies arrived. The neighbor told deputies the suspect was wearing camouflage pants and a dark shirt.
While officers were speaking with the victims, a suspect matching the description entered the residence. Police searched the man and found a 3.5-inch serrated kitchen knife in his pants pocket.
Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue medical professionals arrived to assess Alberto-Mejia. A deputy also arrived to translate for the suspect, who does not speak English.
While en route to Yampa Valley Medical Center, Alberto-Mejia told the deputy who was translating that he feared the “Mara,” which was described as MS-13, an international criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles but has since spread throughout much of the continental U.S., Canada, Mexico and Central America.
Recommended Stories For You
Alberto-Mejia told the deputy that he believed members of the gang had killed his two sons in Honduras and that they were now attempting to kill him.
Undersheriff Doug Scherar said he did not believe the gang was involved in this incident.
After being medically cleared from the hospital, Alberto-Mejia was taken to the Routt County Detention Center.