Joshua Benavidez and Irene Enriquez, both 31, were taken into custody on Wednesday, July 22, on suspicion of carrying out the July 11 attack in front of their two sons, aged 8 and 12, and 2-year-old daughter.
“I just want to say I’m sorry to my family and to my children,” Enriquez told local television station KOB 4 as they were led away by polce.
As they drove away, the couple noticed the man’s pants had caught on fire and claimed that they attempted to extinguish the fire by pouring water on the man who was said to be unconscious at the time. However, police say that Benavidez told his partner to return to the vehicle and they fled the scene.
A surveillance video released by Albuquerque New Mexico police showed the purple SUV belonging to Benavidez and, officials say, the couple changed the color of the vehicle to white after the brutal attack.
While the couple told local media that this was a prank solely intended on “rattling” the man, they have been charged with aggravated battery with great bodily harm, tampering with evidence, and conspiracy.
The children, who were in the back of the vehicle, revealed to police that the couple did throw the firework on the sleeping homeless man. Benavidez and Enriquez were also charged with child abuse and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.