GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – Police in Greeley arrested a father overnight after they say he violently confronted the mother of his infant child and then took the child from her and drove off.
Police say what Alvin Padilla did after that was unusual. They said the mother, Audriana Lopez-Barnhart, was able to follow Padilla, 40, in her car until he stopped in central Greeley, got out of his car and then ran off with the baby boy.
Then police say Padilla then handed the infant to a woman he didn’t know in the 1900 block of 12th Avenue, saying the police were after him and that he must leave.
“When he saw that cop car he just handed me the baby, he just said ‘here’ and then he ran,” said Jane Bateman, who took the child.
“She was completely taken aback,” Sgt. Susan West said. “My understanding is that they guy came up and said ‘Take my baby.’ And she said no and he forced the baby into her hands and took off.”
That prompted Greeley police to send out a notice at 11 p.m. that there was a case of an abandoned child and that it wasn’t known who the parents or guardians were.
Padilla allegedly returned to the home of the woman on 12th Avenue five hours later and police who were there brought him in for questioning. Officers arrested him at the police station.
“He was terrified and he said his wife was crazy and she was high,” West said.
Police then lifted their notice and reunited the boy with its mother. The baby was also checked out at the hospital and found to be in fine condition. The mother was struck by the father during the initial confrontation but didn’t need to be hospitalized for her injuries.
Padilla tentatively faces charges of child abuse, harassment and violation of a restraining order. He was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday afternoon.