LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A man accused of physically abusing his girlfriend was arrested in New Mexico after authorities say the children of the alleged victim handed their school bus driver a note that said their mother was in danger.
The Las Cruces Police Department says the victim secretly wrote the note and asked two of her kids to give it to their bus driver after a night-long domestic altercation in which her phone was taken by her boyfriend, which prevented her from calling for help.
The kids did as they were asked, and police say the attentive bus driver called 911 to summon officers to the home.
Police say they were notified of the incident at about 8 a.m. Friday. When officers arrived at the home, they reportedly found the woman with multiple cuts, bruises and abrasions consistent with her claims of physical abuse.
Investigators were told that the boyfriend, identified as 40-year-old Erik Alvarado, initiated the physical altercation at about 8 p.m. Thursday and the abuse lasted through much of the night.
Specifically, Alvarado is accused of battering his girlfriend, strangling her, and suffocating her twice with a pillow and a shirt. The victim claimed the suspect also threatened to kill her during the course of the evening.
Police say much of the abuse was done in the presence of the couple’s toddler and their two school-age children.
Alvarado was located Friday and detained for questioning. He’s being charged with three third-degree felony counts of aggravated battery against a household member, two for suffocation of the victim and one for strangulation.
Police say Alvarado is also facing misdemeanor counts of battery against a household member and deprivation of property.