AURORA, Colo. — An Aurora man allegedly attacked last month by an illegal immigrant wanted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the suspect should have never been free to attack him.
“Now that’s he’s already done this, he’s an assassin, he’s no good,” said Julio Cesar Banda-Estrada.
Speaking through a translator, the Mexican national said he answered his front door on Nov. 17 to a pair of men and was immediately stabbed in his right arm.
The Aurora Police Department has arrested 39-year-old for Gonzalo Gonzalez-Gomez and 37-year old Osmani Garces-Ortiz on charges of attempted murder.
ICE agents had put a detainer on Garces-Ortiz, an illegal immigrant from Cuba, on Oct. 24 while he was held in Arapahoe County for possessing drugs, criminal trespassing and violating a protection order.
However, because of a Colorado law passed in May, Arapahoe County deputies could not legally honor the detainer and Garces-Ortiz was released on bond on Oct. 28.
An arrest affidavit indicates Gonzalez-Gomez was the ex-boyfriend of Banda-Estrada’s current girlfriend.
Police say Gonzalez-Gomez stabbed Banda-Estrada, then pointed a gun at his head as if to shoot him.
Witnesses tell police that Garces-Ortiz grabbed the gun and shot it at Banda-Estrada’s feet before he and Gonzalez-Gomez ran out of the house.
Garces-Ortiz is back in the Arapahoe County Jail after Aurora police arrested him on Nov. 21.
ICE deportation officers have placed another detainer on Garces-Ortiz.
The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office gave ICE a warning that Garces-Ortiz was about to be released on Oct. 28.
But an ICE spokeswoman said the agency had no way to know if that meant Garces-Ortiz was going to be released in 10 minutes or 10 hours.
It did not have the staffing to send an agent immediately to the jail in hopes of intercepting Garces-Ortiz before he was released.
Garces-Ortiz was released about two hours after ICE was notified by the sheriff’s office.
“It was absolutely predictable that innocent residents would suffer at the hands of criminal aliens when Colorado’s heinous sanctuary bill was signed into the law,” said John Fabbricataore, deputy field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in Denver.
“Because of this law, our ICE office was not notified when a criminal alien was released on bail, and this alien is now charged with attempted murder.
“How many more lives will be lost, and how many more crimes will be committed, because lawmakers put political agendas before public safety?”
Banda-Estrada, who acknowledged to being in the country illegally, said ICE should have been allowed to try to deport Garces-Ortiz the first time he was in custody.
“Why are you going to leave a person (in the United States) that is a criminal, knowing they`re a criminal?” he asked.
Under federal law, ICE has the authority to lodge immigration detainers with local law enforcement.
The detainer form asks local law enforcement agencies to maintain custody of an illegal alien arrested on criminal charges who ICE has probable cause to believe are removable aliens.