ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Two kids say they were shot with an air gun all because they were throwing dirt on a neighbor’s pool cover. Now, that neighbor is charged with three counts of second-degree child abuse. What started out as child’s play, ended with deputies on scene. The kids say they’re still shocked their neighbor would shoot them for throwing dirt.
It began like any other afternoon. Estrella Gonzalez and her brother Eddie were playing with their friend Emiliano Terrazas in their Uncle Jess’ backyard.
The three said they were throwing dirt onto a neighbor’s pool when that neighbor became upset.
“He started to spray us with his hose,” says 9-year-old Terrazas.
But it didn’t end there. Terrazas says the neighbor, 43-year-old Antonio Ruiloba, went inside and came out with an air pistol.
“He just shot us,” says Terrazas.
The three say they took off running. Terrazas said he was hit two or three times.
“Right here in the back of the neck and right here,” Terrazas says, pointing at his chest.
Jess Waldrep was inside his home, just a few feet away, when heard the childrens’ screams.
“I come out to the door and I hear this pop, pop, pop, pop, pop about seven to 10 times real quick,” recalls Waldrep.
He knew right away something was wrong.
“I knew he was shooting them with something. It scared the hell out of me,” says Waldrep.
Estrella Gonzalez was able to get away and hide without getting hit, but her brother, Eddie, wasn’t so lucky.
When Waldrep confronted Ruiloba, he says Ruiloba apologized and explained the kids were throwing dirt on his pool.
It wasn’t enough for Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies who arrested Ruiloba on three counts of child abuse. They’re charges that landed him in front of a judge Saturday.
According to the criminal complaint, when deputies questioned Ruiloba, he denied shooting the kids with an air pistol. He even denied owning one.Yet a simple search of his home revealed he, in fact, owned three air pistols and an air rifle.
According to court records, Ruiloba has faced child abuse charges in the past. He’s on a no-bond hold for an unrelated case.