The biggest local jerk award goes to Carmelo Diaz Jr. this week. During a domestic dispute, the Las Cruces man shot and paralyzed his family dog who later had to be put down.


According to police, an argument between Diaz and his wife became physical when Diaz placed his hands on his wife’s neck and pinned her against a wall. Diaz then threatened to take his own life and ran to an upstairs bedroom where he armed himself with a .40 caliber handgun.

The argument continued and Diaz’s wife ran to the children’s room. Diaz entered the room, pointed the handgun at his wife and at his teenage son and threatened to take their lives.

When Diaz walked out of the bedroom, his wife and children ran to a neighbor’s home and called police. Diaz went to the neighbor’s home a short time later and pleaded for his wife to tell dispatch that everything was OK.

As Diaz walked back to his home, he is believed to have fired one round at the family’s dog. Diaz then drove away from the home before officers arrived.

The dog was transported to an emergency veterinarian where it was determined the gunshot left the dog paralyzed. The dog was then euthanized.

Diaz is charged with two counts of aggravated assault against a family member, two counts of battery against a family member and one count of extreme cruelty to an animal. He was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center and is being held without bond.