Homeless man threatens woman with knife after asking for change

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Leigha Gallegos got quite the scare walking along 5th Street and Marble Saturday night. She said a homeless man, identified as Patrick Shay, pulled a large kitchen knife on her after asking for change.

“I just started running straight to my car,” Gallegos said. “He called me some pretty inappropriate names and said he was going to kill me.”

Gallegos said she called 911 and was told to leave the scene for her safety, but when she drove back to the area about 20 minutes later, she said Shay was still there.

“They weren’t going to take him into custody unless there were any witnesses present,” said Gallegos.

She asked officers to meet her so she could give a statement, because Gallegos says she couldn’t stand the thought of a violent person on the streets, given her job as an ER nurse.

“We [see] many assaults and stabbings, gunshot wounds. More than you ever see on the news, unfortunately, and it really opened my eyes up to how violent our city is,” she said. “A large amount of that violence is in our homeless population.”

She doesn’t blame the police for the confusion, but calls it a learning situation.

Shay is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is still in jail waiting to see a judge.

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