A man accused of abusing his girlfriend for hours was arrested after her children passed a note to their school bus driver seeking help, police in New Mexico said Tuesday.
The suspect, 40-year-old Erik Alvarado, allegedly threatened to kill the woman during a domestic altercation that began around 8 p.m. last Thursday and persisted through most of the night, according to a statement from the Las Cruces Police Department.
He’s suspected of beating, choking and twice trying to suffocate the woman with a pillow and a shirt — and “much of the abuse was done in the presence of the couple’s toddler and their two school-age children,” the police statement read.
Alvarado also allegedly took her cellphone away so she couldn’t call or message for help.
The following morning, the woman surreptitiously gave her two older children a note that said she was in danger and asked them to pass it along to their school bus driver, police said. After being handed the letter, the driver called 911.
Responding officers found the woman had multiple injuries, including abrasions, bruises and cuts that were “consistent with her claims of physical abuse,” according to the statement.
Later that day, Alvarado was located and detained for questioning.
He has since been arrested and booked into jail, where he was held without bond. Alvarado faces charges including third-degree aggravated battery against a household member, and misdemeanor counts of battery against a household member and deprivation of property, according to police.