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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Police Say Children Helped Save Mom After Witnessing Abuse by Giving Note to School Bus Driver

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On Thursday in Las Cruces, New Mexico, 40-year-old Erik Alvarado allegedly threatened to kill his girlfriend.

The girlfriend later said he also abused her by beating, strangling and suffocating her. And he appears to have done those things in the presence of their three children, ranging from toddler to school-age.

The woman said she was deprived of her phone and the means to seek help, as he made her stay near him at all times. According to a post from the Las Cruces Police Department, the abuse went well into the night.

In the morning, Alvarado allowed his girlfriend to get her kids to the bus stop, and that’s when she made her desperate bid for help.

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She wrote a note, handed it to her kids, and instructed them to give it to the school bus driver.

They did. The bus driver read it and called 911.

“Las Cruces police were notified of the incident about 8 a.m. Friday, April 23,” the post by the police department reads. “Investigators learned Alvarado initiated the physical altercation with his girlfriend about 8 p.m. Thursday and the abuse lasted through much of the night.

“Alvarado is accused of battering the woman, strangling her, and twice suffocating her with a pillow and a shirt. Investigators learned that, during the course of the evening, Alvarado threatened to kill the woman.”

The post also explained how the children successfully relayed their mother’s message, resulting in her rescue.

“The children did as they were asked, and the attentive bus driver called 911 to summon police to the home on the 4000 block of Inca Avenue,” it said.

“There, police found the woman with multiple cuts, bruises and abrasions consistent with her claims of physical abuse.”

Later on Friday, Alvarado was located and detained for questioning.

He has now been “charged with three third-degree felony counts of aggravated battery against a household member — two for suffocation of the victim and one for strangulation,” as well as “misdemeanor counts of battery against a household member and deprivation of property.”

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Alvarado is currently in the Dona Ana County Detention Center and is being held without bond.

Thanks to the mother’s quick thinking and her childrens’ brave actions, she is alive. Hopefully, none of them will have to suffer such abuse again.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking