Española police chief indicted in two child abuse cases

ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – The Chief of Police in Española has been indicted on child abuse and witness intimidation charges out of Taos County.

Court documents show Matthew Vigil, chief of Española PD since April, was indicted Thursday for two different cases.

The indictment documents reveal Vigil is facing felony charges in both cases. One case is from March of this year, in which he is accused of child abuse and attempting to keep his 13-year-old daughter’s phone from her.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports those charges stem from an incident in Taos, at a store, during which Vigil is accused of throwing shoes at his daughter.

The other charges he faces are in relation to an October 2016 incident. In that case, he’s charged with child abuse for putting his own kids and his stepchildren in danger, along with battery on his wife and two counts of intimidation of a witness – one for threatening his stepdaughter into providing false testimony and the other for threatening his wife into not calling the police.

In all, Vigil faces four felony charges and two misdemeanors. Online court records show he has yet to enter any pleas.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Vigil is on paid leave from the department.

KRQE News 13 has reached out to Vigil and the mayor of Española for comment, but both have yet to return our calls. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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