(VIDEO) New Mexico: Mentally-Challeged Man kidnapped, branded with swastikas

(KRQE) - Three Farmington men are accused of etching and burning swastika symbols into a mentally challenged man's skin and head.

“They held him down and forcibly branded him," Sgt. Robert Perez with the Farmington Police Department said.

The 22-year-old Native American man was left a permanent reminder from a night he'd love to forget.

One swastika was branded into his arm with a hot wire hanger, while the other was shaved into his head, according to the victim.

His face and body were also covered with disturbing words and pictures.

“He was drawn on with images of hate speech.” Perez said.

The victim called for help from a Farmington convenience store last Friday. He told police that Paul Beebee, Jesse Sanford and William Hatch coaxed him into going to an apartment.

When officers searched the place, they found more evidence.
“Images and videos were collected,” Perez said.

Police say the suspects had a pretty farfetched excuse.

“Their claim was that the 22-year-old victim was willing to have himself branded and shaved and written on with some of the hate speech and graphic images that were painted on his body," Perez said.

Sanford is in custody, but police are still looking for Beebee and Hatch.

All three are charged with kidnapping and aggravated battery, and the FBI is reviewing the case to see if it constitutes a hate crime.

Sanford is being held on a $175,000 cash bond, and officials said the other two men will face similar bonds.

The victim is back with his family.

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