A Las Cruces woman – the victim of an alleged night-long domestic altercation at the hands of her boyfriend – asked her children to give their school bus driver a note stating she was in danger.
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. There, police found the woman with multiple cuts, bruises and abrasions consistent with her claims of physical abuse.
The suspect, 40-year-old Erik Alvarado, was located later Friday and detained for questioning.
Alvarado is charged with three third-degree felony counts of aggravated battery against a household member – two for suffocation of the victim and one for strangulation. Alvarado also faces misdemeanor counts of battery against a household member and deprivation of property.
Las Cruces police were notified of the incident about 8 a.m. Friday, April 23. 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.
Much of the abuse was done in the presence of the couple’s toddler and their two school-age children. At some point, Alvarado allegedly took away the woman’s cell phone and prevented her from seeking help.
On Friday morning, the woman secretly wrote a note and asked her two older children to pass it along to the bus driver.
Alvarado was arrested and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is initially being held without bond.