A San Bernardino man and his girlfriend were arrested on allegations of child abuse after witnesses reported seeing the man abuse the woman’s two children and lock them in the trunk of her car.
The incident was reported Saturday at about 11:45 a.m. in the rear parking lot of the Laundry Mat located at 245 W. Highland Ave.
Witnesses reported seeing Ralph Castillo, 46, slam the children’s heads together and then put them in the trunk of a car belonging to their mother, 26-year-old Heather Burrows, according to Lt. Paul Williams of the San Bernardino Police Department.
As the couple prepared to drive off with the children in the trunk, witnesses tried to intervene and called police, Williams said in a written statement.
Castillo verbally threatened to kill one witness while Burrows took the children out of the trunk and put them into the backseat, police said.
He then drove away from the business parking lot.
Gang officers recognized photos of the couple and were able to track down Castillo and the children at a hotel on Mt. Vernon Avenue, police said.
He was arrested and booked on suspicion of child abuse and false imprisonment.
Burrows was arrested at another location. She also faces child abuse charges as well as a probation violation.
Both are being held on $100,000 bail.
The children, ages 6 and 7, had slight bruising from abuse, but no visible injury from the parking lot incident, police said.
They were taken into protective custody.
Anyone with information regarding this case or past incidents involving these suspects was asked to contact Detective Bonshire at 909-434-7744 or Sgt. Williams at 909-384-5659.