MMA Fighter Destroys Four Home Invaders, Killing One … Now May Be Charged

  • Rick Chandler

So four reputed gang members decided to spend New Years’ Day with a little home invasion. But it didn’t end well. That’s because:

* They phoned ahead to tell the family they were coming.

* The home they were invading contained a pro MMA fighter.

* One of the gang members ended up dead, another wound up in an ambulance. The two others fled. Good job gang members! Good effort!

It happened in Las Cruces, NM, as lightweight MMA fighter Joseph Torrez took on four thugs who had forced their way past his fiancee into the home.

One of the attackers, 22-year-old Leonard Calvillo, called ahead to threaten Torrez, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported, citing court documents. “I’ll kill you and your family … I’ll go to your house,” Calvillo reportedly said. Calvillo arrived shortly after with 20-year-old Nathan Avalos and brothers Sal and Raymond Garces and pounded on Torrez’s door, authorities said. Torrez’s fiancee, son and the fiancee’s sister were all home at the time.

C.J. McElhinney, an attorney for Torrez, told the Sun-News witness said the attackers brought a crude shank and one picked up a knife once they forced their way inside.

Sal Garces, 25, was stabbed to death during the fight. Avalos suffered “severe” facial injuries and was taken to a New Mexico hospital, authorities said. Torrez endured only minor injuries, his lawyer said.

Calvillo and Raymond Garces were both arrested on charges of conspiracy and property damage after they ran from the house.

Torrez reportedly moved out of the house immediately following the incident, and could face charges in the killing, say police. He’s no longer cooperating with the investigation, according to reports. Torrez has a 1-5 record as a lightweight, according to In his most recent bout he lost to Rodrigo Sotelo at Rocktagon in El Paso in July 2013.

The events leading to the attack aren’t clear, and authorities haven’t ruled out charging Torrez with a crime. Many are not happy with this.