Portales man accused of beating, strangling girlfriend

Freedom New Mexico

A Portales man is accused of beating and strangling his girlfriend and pointing a shotgun at her.

Michael Cardenas, 35, is charged with aggravated assault on a household member, a fourth-degree felony; aggravated battery on a household member, a third-degree felony; intimidation of a witness, a third-degree felony; and interference with communication, a misdemeanor.

According to an affidavit for an arrest warrant filed in Roosevelt County Magistrate Court:

• A 25-year-old woman came to Portales Police Department about 11 a.m. Saturday and spoke with an officer. She had bruises on both of her upper arms and strangulation marks on both sides of her neck.

• The woman told an officer that she and Cardenas, her boyfriend, began arguing on the way back from Clovis April 29 after she confronted him with text messages and her belief that he was having an affair.

• When they returned home about 11 p.m., the woman said, Cardenas grabbed her by the arms, threw her down and strangled her on and off for two hours. She said Cardenas pointed a shotgun at her, had her put her mouth over the end of the barrel and threatened to hurt her if she went to the police. He also took her cell phone.

• The woman said Cardenas then went to sleep in the bedroom and she lay down on the couch.

• About 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, the woman said, she asked for her phone back and Cardenas again became angry. She said he punched her arms and left leg and strangled her, causing her to have difficulty breathing and become light-headed. Cardenas then loaded his shotgun.

• The woman said she then left, in fear of being shot, and went to work, where a coworker convinced her to contact police.

According to police reports:

• Cardenas told police he and his girlfriend live together and had argued, but she was the aggressor. He said he only touched her in a defensive way and denied threatening her with the shotgun.

• Cardenas said his girlfriend took his cell phone, which was why he took hers.

• Cardenas had scratches on his arms, chest and back.

Cardenas could not be reached for comment.