APD: The man who killed his father had a history of mental health calls

Detectives say a man with a history of mental health issues beat his father to death and covered the body in 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 incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

Rivera Jr. has several 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 Haven Behavioral Hospital worker, court records show. The staff member told police that Abelito Jr. was living in the hospital and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

In 2015, father and son had a fight but Abelito Sr. refused to press charges, telling the officer he felt sorry for his son. It was one of many conflicts documented by the 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 a.m. 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 “significant blunt force trauma” and a neighbor told police he had heard the father and son fighting the night before, according to the complaint. He said the couple had “ongoing issues” which worsened when Abelito Jr. stopped taking his schizophrenia medication.

Police say Abelito Jr. walked out of the house making “erratic statements” and told police his feet hurt because he was “stomping on my dad’s face because he was the devil”. Detectives attempted to interview Abelito Jr. but he was “not coherent or logical”.

Court records show that police gave Abelito Jr. a cup of water, which he poured over himself, started crying and said “I hurt my dad.” Police decided that Abelito Jr. was not coherent enough to be questioned at the time.