Home invaders pick wrong home: MMA fighter wins in 4 on 1 fight

A professional mixed martial arts fighter in New Mexico who fought off a home invasion by four gang members — killing one assailant and badly injuring another — could still face charges himself.

The attack took place early New Year’s Day at a mobile home outside of Las Cruces, N.M., according to the Las Cruces News-Sun.

Photo: Torrez Facebook page

The four men, one of them armed with a shank, stormed into the home after a fight earlier in the night. Inside the home were professional fighter Joe Torrez, 27, Torrez’s fiancé, his young son and several friends, the Sun-News reported.

One of the invaders, identified as Leonard Calvillo, had called ahead to threaten Torrez, saying “I’ll kill you and your family … I’ll go to your house,” he said, according to the Sun-News.

In the fight that ensued, gang member Sal Garces, 22, was stabbed to death. Another one of the four, Nathan Avalos, 20, was beaten so badly that he suffered facial injuries that required an ambulance.

Calvillo – who telephoned the threat – and Raymond Garces, the brother of the slain man, fled the scene but were arrested later by Las Cruces police and Dona Ana County sheriff’s deputies.

According to an Associated Press report, Dona Ana County investigators say Torrez could face charges in Garces’ death. But Torrez’s attorney, C.J. McElhinney of Las Cruces, says no charges are warranted.

A Facebook page set up for Torrez has drawn international attention as the story has been picked up by the U.K.-based MailOnline and Australia-based News.Com.Au. 

According to the mixed martial arts website, Sherdog.com, Torrez’s record as a professional in the ring is 1 win and 5 losses.

In battles for survival inside his home, so far he’s undefeated.

“He was fighting for his life,” McElhinney told the Sun-News.


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