ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – He says he’s not a criminal and he believes he was targeted.
Days after police officers found a man with his hands nailed to a tree in Albuquerque’s Bosque, the victim at the center of the ordeal is telling his story about what happened, and why he thinks it happened to him.
“I’m scared because… nobody believes me,” the man said.
While his story might seem unreal, the man – who asked KRQE News 13 to protect his identity – says what happened to him is the truth.
He claims he was taken at gunpoint on Monday morning and had his hands nailed to a tree, against his will, by two people he doesn’t know.
His hands clearly show trauma. Underneath bandages, the man revealed red, swollen palms where a large, circular black dot could be seen on each hand. The same sized black dots were also visible on the back of both of the man’s hands.
But the holes in his hands are just part of the proof, according to the man. He recently took KRQE News 13 to the tree that police found him nailed to.
“These are the nail holes, where my hands were like this,” said the man, showing KRQE News 13 the tree he was nailed to.
Each nail hole the man showed us was surrounded by damaged tree bark.
“He (said, you don’t) listen, (you’re going) to die,” said the man, recalling what he says the perpetrators told him when they were marching him into the Bosque at gunpoint.
The man says it all started Monday morning around 8 o-clock while he was walking. He says Bosque walks are common for him.
Monday morning, the man says he was walking along the path lining the canal, behind the BioPark Botanical Garden near Central Avenue and Tingley Drive SW. The man says he was walking with a folder full of documents.
“Two people pointed a gun at me and told me to go down below,” said the man.
As the man took KRQE News 13 to the scene of the incident, we asked where exactly he encountered the armed men.
Pointing to the northwest (left) side of the trail, he said, “I was on this side, and they came from below, they were on the other side of the trees, apparently they’d been following me without me noticing.”
The man says the gunmen appeared when he was about a quarter-mile up the Bosque canal trail . He says the gunmen forced him to walk down off the path, in towards the trees.
“So they wouldn’t shoot me, I agreed,” said the man.
After trekking roughly 50 to 100 feet off the path, into the trees, the man says the gunmen grabbed him, told him they were “going to make him disappear,” and pulled out a hammer.
“That’s when they grabbed one of my hands and nailed it to a tree, then the other one to another tree so I wouldn’t move,” he told KRQE News 13.
The man claims the gunmen then “grabbed a nerve in his neck” and he “passed out.”
In and out of consciousness, the man says the gunmen got spooked and ran away when they heard someone walking nearby.
The man believes he was nailed to the tree possibly for a few hours. He showed KRQE News 13 how other people found him in the Bosque: his hands above his head, nailed to a tree. Albuquerque Police say the man was still stuck and screaming in pain when they found him.
The man claims this wasn’t a random attack. He also claims it was not drug-related, but rather something else.
While KRQE News 13 was at the site of the tree the nailing took place, the man found a stack of papers in a manila envelope buried in the leaves. He claims the folder was the same one that was taken from him on Monday, and that the gunmen buried it before they ran off.
“These are the complete documents about the case,” said the man.
“The case” is what the man claims this is all about. He believes he was attacked by men sent to scare him over his involvement in an ugly real estate deal. The man claims the papers detail his claims.
KRQE News 13 was unable to verify the man’s claims. However, a search of online court shows there is a long-running court battle over a real estate issue under the man’s name. The man also did not have a criminal record KRQE News 13 could find.
The man says the same guys who attacked him in the Bosque have threatened him before.
“This is the three or four times … do something to me,” said the man.
While Albuquerque Police are still investigating what happened, police don’t suspect the man was attacked as some sort of payback for a crime, or that the incident is cartel-related. Police told KRQE News 13 that usually, those victims are tortured far worse or murdered.
Police also aren’t ruling out if the man had someone do this to him for whatever reason.
While his story may seem hard to believe, the man insists it’s not fiction.
“You think I’m lying? Right here is the truth,” said the man, gesturing with the stack of papers in his hand.