UPDATE, April 29: Conditional bond was set at $5,000 Thursday for a Las Cruces man arrested on domestic abuse-related charges after the kids of his alleged victim passed a note to their school bus driver seeking help for their mother.
In order to be released, in addition to posting the bail amount, a judge is requiring 40-year-old Erik Alvarado to avoid the victim, submit to a 10 p.m. curfew and avoid guns, drugs and alcohol.
Prosecutors allege Alvarado battered his girlfriend, strangled her, and twice tried to suffocate her with a pillow and a shirt. Alvarado is also accused of threatening to kill the woman in front of their children and taking away her cell phone to prevent her calling for help.
The next morning is when authorities said the victim secretly gave a note to her two children telling them to give it to the school bus driver, which led to Alvarado being arrested.
Alvarado is charged with three 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, prosecutors said.
ORIGINAL REPORT, April 27: LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Las Cruces police are crediting a school bus driver with ending a domestic abuse situation after the victim's children passed him a note seeking help.
Authorities recounted last week's incident for reporters on Tuesday as they announced the arrest of 40-year-old Erik Alvarado, who is being held without bond in the Dona Ana County jail on multiple felony charges of aggravated battery against a household member.
Police said Alvarado's girlfriend was the victim of an alleged night-long domestic altercation at his hands.
The woman asked her children to give their school bus driver a note she secretly wrote stating that she was in danger, police said. The children did as they were asked, and the attentive bus driver called 911 to summon police to the home in the 4000 block of Inca Avenue.
Officers said when they arrived, they found the woman with multiple cuts, bruises and abrasions consistent with her claims of physical abuse. The police investigation later led to the arrest of Alvarado, officials said.