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Arrest warrant affidavit released for driver arrested after plowing through doors at Pueblo Mall

The mall reopened at 11 a.m. Wednesday
Posted at 4:04 PM, Nov 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-16 14:36:43-05

PUEBLO, CO — On Thursday, Nov. 16, the affidavit of Probable Cause for Mario Arellano's arrest warrant was released.

According to the affidavit, Pueblo Police officers were first called to the Pueblo Mall due to reports of a drive-by shooting.

Arellano reportedly spoke to one of the dispatchers and asked for mental health services because he was "losing [his] mind" and about to commit a series of murders.

After officers arrived, they headed to the west side of the mall once another officer reported hearing gunshots.

It was there that they found Arellano behind the wheel of a silver Kia Soul. Officers made several attempts
to get Arrellano to yield, including a brief vehicle pursuit around the perimeter of the mall.

Arellano refused to yield at every opportunity and began to drive onto the walkway towards the Pueblo Mall food court.

After crashing through the food court doors and into a decorative wall, Arellano made several statements to officers that implied that race was a motivation for this crime and that Arellano may have ties to the terrorist group, Hamas.

Arellano had to be forcefully taken from the car into custody.

Once Arellano was in custody, Pueblo Police evacuated the mall and some surrounding businesses to bring in the Pueblo Metro Bomb Squad.

The Bomb Squad conducted an investigation of the Kia Soul and deemed there not to be any explosive devices in the vehicle.

Since Arellano had crashed into several metal and other structures, medical personnel were summoned to evaluate Arellano for possible injuries.

AMR personnel made their evaluations and determined that Arellano should seek further medical care.

Arellano and two Pueblo officers rode in the back of an AMR ambulance to Parkview Medical Center. During the ambulance ride, Arellano spit on both the police officers and AMR personnel.

In an attempt to keep him from spitting, one of the officers covered Arellano's mouth with her hand. Arellano promptly bit her pinky finger in an attempt to "bite it off".

Once Arellano was medically cleared from Parkview Medical Center, he was transported to the Pueblo Police Department.

There he was interviewed on the motivation behind his alleged actions.

Arellano said that his original statements about harming the people in the mall were due to him not taking his medication and not sleeping for several days.

According to the affidavit, Arellano's criminal history is extensive and he has been flagged in the Pueblo Police Department database for having emotional/behavior issues, violent tendencies and seizures.

For more information, the Affidavit of Probable Cause for Arrest Warrant can be found here.

An alarming incident at the Pueblo Mall on Tuesday as a driver plowed through doors leading to the food court and started making threats to harm people.

According to police, the suspect later identified as 29-year-old Mario Arellano called in to say officers should come to them at the Pueblo Mall. When officers arrived they found the suspect outside the building.

As police were very close to the suspect, the driver took their car right through the doors into the food court.

Witnesses say they heard the suspect say there was a bomb in the car, prompting an evacuation of the mall, and a call out to the bomb squad.

The mall was evacuated after threats were made by the driver according to police. Police cleared the scene around 8:00 p.m. Tuesday evening.

At this time, there is no confirmation on whether or not a bomb or explosive device was found in the vehicle.

Pueblo Police have released the name of the suspect in a news release Wednesday but have not said whether any weapons or explosives were discovered.

Arellano was taken to the Pueblo County Detention Center on multiple counts of Attempted Murder. Assault on a Peace Officer, and Criminal Mischief charges. According to the Pueblo County Court Docket, Arellano is due in court for his first appearance on November 30th at 8:15 a.m.

The mall reopened at 11 a.m. Wednesday following repairs and cleanup.

Pueblo Mall entry cleanup
Crews at the Pueblo Mall cleaned up the entryway where a driver rammed doors on November 14, 2023.

The Pueblo Police Department is still interested in hearing from witnesses or victims of this incident and asking those persons to call Detective Torres at 719-320-6037.

A video from user ritizin20 on TikTok appears to show the moment a vehicle was followed by police, and the vehicle ran through the food court entrance of the mall. As of right now, there were no reported injuries from this incident.

I was literally sitting in that section and had to jump over the wall to get out the way..

♬ original sound - Rita

The Pueblo Mall released the following statement regarding the incident:

The Pueblo Mall security team followed protocol and we are grateful for the quick action taken by the Pueblo Police Department. Our shopping center has a long history in the community, and we take the safety and security of our shoppers, retailers, and employees seriously. We have a well-trained security staff that works closely with our local police department, and the shopping center has many security measures in place that are designed to enhance the safety of all our guests. Pueblo Mall is working in full cooperation with the authorities as they conduct their investigation, and we ask that you please direct any further questions to Sergeant Frank Ortega with the Pueblo Police Department.

- Leah Valentino, General Manager

According to the Pueblo Police Department, mall management will decide when the mall will reopen, there is no timeline for that reopening as of right now.

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