APD: Man who killed father had history of mental health calls

Detectives say a man with a history of mental health issues beat his father to death and covered his body with dirt Tuesday morning outside a mobile home on West Central.

Abelito Rivera Jr. (MDC)

Abelito Rivera Jr., 42, is charged with an open count of murder in the death of his 69-year-old father Abelito Rivera Sr. He has been booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center.

Rivera Jr. has multiple arrests over the years related to ongoing behavioral health crises and, in some cases, fights with his father.

In March, Abelito Jr. was charged with misdemeanor battery after allegedly punching a worker at the Haven Behavioral Hospital, according to court records. The staff member told police Abelito Jr. lived at the hospital and was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

In 2015, the father and son got into a fight but Abelito Sr. refused to press charges, telling the officer he felt sorry for his son. It was one of several disputes documented by police over the years.

On Tuesday morning, a neighbor called 911 after seeing Abelito Sr. lying outside, covered in dirt, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

Police responded around 9:45 am to the mobile home in the 10200 block of Central SW, near 98th. Officers found Abelito Sr. near the back porch covered in dirt, tree leaves and debris.

Investigators found Abelito Sr. had suffered “extensive blunt force trauma” and a neighbor told police he heard the father and son fighting the night before, according to the complaint. He said the pair had “ongoing issues” that escalated when Abelito Jr. stopped taking his medication for schizophrenia.

Police said Abelito Jr. came out of the home making “erratic statements” and told police his feet hurt because he was “stomping on my dad’s face because he is the devil.” Detectives tried to interview Abelito Jr. but he was “not coherent or making any sense.”

Court records show police gift Abelito Jr. a cup of water, which he poured on himself, began to cry and said “I hurt my dad.” Police decided Abelito Jr. was not coherent enough to be interviewed at the time.

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