ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An elderly Albuquerque man is in critical condition after police say a man randomly attacked him outside his Nob Hill home Thursday morning.
“This should not have happened to him,” said the victim’s neighbor Beth Mason.
Neighbors said the 69-year-old victim, is reliable and friendly man.
“He is so nice. He will do anything for you. He always talks to me, he waves at me,” said Louise.
Police say 36-year-old Francisco Rodrigues randomly attacked the man Thursday, while the man was working in his front yard just east of UNM’s campus.
“It’s scary!” said Louise. “You know you think of a neighborhood that’s so nice and quiet nothing would happen. We’ll forget it.”
The victim, whose family has asked KRQE News 13 not to identify, was gardening around 8:30 a.m. According to the criminal complaint, Rodrigues approached him. After a short conversation, Rodrigues started stabbing the man in the face, chest, stomach and leg.
Witnesses told police they saw Rodrigues, who was wearing a dress shirt and tie, standing over the victim. When they yelled at him to stop he paused and said, “It wasn’t me,” then stabbed him some more and “casually” walked away.
The victim’s family said if his neighbors hadn’t stepped in when they did he would have been dead.
“It’s terrifying. Our kids used to play in the yard. We do yard work you know it’s just terrifying,” said Mason.
Police eventually caught up with Rodrigues, who they said had blood on his hands and pants, about a block away from the victim’s home. They said they also found a bloody dress shirt and tie about a block away from the attack.
He is charged with attempted murder.
Rodrigues does have a criminal past. Last year he was arrested for pulling a knife on Walmart employees after they caught him stealing.