EL PASO, Texas - The man police accuse of attacking a couple "randomly and without provocation" allegedly stabbed the husband in the head with a knife and stomped on the wife's head nearly 20 times, a criminal complaint obtained by ABC-7 states.
31-year-old Marco Huerta, of the 10900 block of Sagebush, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, the court document states.
Huerta allegedly attacked the couple in front of their grandchildren outside their home at 10832 Cardigan, police said. The assault happened at approximately 6:21 a.m. on December 29, 2018. Court documents identify the victims as Maria Valdez and Arturo Valdez, 56.
Police were dispatched to the 10800 block of Cardigan to investigate the assault. A police officer on the way to the location spotted a man matching the description of the suspect in the assault call. The suspect, later identified as Huerta, was walking north on the 300 block of Lee Trevino.
The criminal complaint states Huerta was wearing a red vest jacket and a black handkerchief covering his nose and mouth. The police officer also noticed what appeared to be blood on Huerta's right shoe.
The police officers stopped Huerta and took him into custody. When the officers arrived at the scene of the assault at 10832 Cardigan, they met the victims as they received treatment from paramedics.
Maria Valdez told police a man wearing a red jacket had just stabbed her husband. The woman said they had just arrived home from a trip to Las Vegas. She was driving, her husband was in the passenger seat and their two grandchildren - ages eight and nine - were in the backseat.
Arturo Valdez exited the vehicle to open the gate to their home when he was approached by Huerta. Maria Valdez told police Huerta said something to her husband something, then stabbed him on the side of the head with a knife, the complaint affidavit states. After the husband fell to the ground, Huerta continued his assault, the woman said.
Maria Valdez told police she exited then vehicle and pulled on Huerta's jacket in an attempt to pull him away from her husband. At that point, Maria Valdez said, Huerta pushed her to the ground and began stomping on her head. The woman told police she yelled at her husband to take their grandchildren inside the home. Maria Valdez then curled into a fetal position and "played dead" in order to get Huerta to stop assaulting her, the complaint affidavit states.
Huerta allegedly kicked and stomped on the woman's head in between 15 and 20 times, inflicting a "traumatic brain injury-frontal extra axiel hematoma," the court document states.
When police interviewed the grandchildren, they allegedly said the man who attacked their grandparents was wearing a red jacket and a black mask. Police said the Valdez couple suffered life-threatening injuries as a result of the attacks.
Huerta was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility on a $200,000 bond. Online jail records show Huerta has an extensive criminal history, including arrests for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, assault causing serious bodily injury, criminal mischief, stalking, interfering with an emergency phone call and family violence.
In the wake of Huerta's arrest, several gym owners and martial artists told ABC-7 Huerta is a local mixed martial artist. Some of the gym owners told ABC-7 they had to prohibit Huerta from entering their gyms after they experienced problems with the mixed martial artist.
Hugo Sida, the owner of Bushido MMA, told ABC-7 Huerta wanted to change his life when he enrolled for training at his gym. "He wanted some kind of direction. He wanted to do some mixed martial arts, so I took him in."
Sida quickly noticed something was not right about Huerta. "He wasn't training to to get better or to help people," Sida said. "He was training to hurt somebody."