Late last night, the Greeley Police Department issued a news alert about an abandoned baby.
The child was safe, fortunately, and by early this morning, the mystery of the young boy's origins was solved. But it took a few hours more before the GPD revealed the circumstances of the incident, as well as the arrest of the infant's father, Alvin Padilla, on charges related to him allegedly striking his wife and ditching the child with a stranger. Learn more about the strange story below.
Here's the photo of the boy sent out by the Greeley cops at around 11 p.m. last night:
According to the cops, the boy had been abandoned on the 1900 block of 12th Avenue in Greeley. He was subsequently examined at a nearby hospital and determined to be healthy enough to release into the custody of his mother, Audriana Lopez-Barnhart, whose identity was determined earlier this morning.
Lopez-Barnhart was in relatively good shape as well. But given the arrest of Padilla, and the allegations against him, she's fortunate.
Why? Investigators say Padilla confronted Lopez-Barnhart over the custody of the son, prompting an argument that ended with Padilla hitting her, grabbing the child and driving away.
He headed to central Greeley, with Lopez-Barnhart following him for a while. But after he got out of the vehicle and fled on foot, she was unable to keep up and headed home.
Meanwhile, the police maintain, Padilla "left the child with a woman he'd never met or seen before, telling her the police were after him."
That turned out to be true -- and they didn't have to work hard to round him up. Padilla returned to the area of 12th Avenue to retrieve the boy, and found officers on the scene, investigating what had gone down. He was arrested shortly thereafter on suspicion of child abuse, plus two domestic-violence beefs -- harassment and violation of a restraining order.
Here's a larger look at Padilla's booking photo.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.