GREELEY, Colo. - Greeley police said they have arrested a man suspected of taking his baby son from his estranged girlfriend Monday night then forcing a stranger on the street to take the baby.
Alvin Padilla, 40, was arrested on investigation of child abuse, harassment and violation of a restraining order -- all misdemeanors, Greeley police said Tuesday.
At about 7 p.m. Monday, Padilla surprised his girlfriend and the child's mother, an arrest affidavit says. Adriana Lopez-Barnhart, 22, was parking her car with the couple's 5-month-old son, Jordan Padilla, inside it at a relative's home on 23rd Avenue.
Lopez-Barnhart told police Padilla jumped into her car without permission and they began to argue over who would retain custody of their baby.
The couple recently separated after a three-year relationship and Lopez-Barnhart had obtained a protection order prohibiting Padilla from contacting, assaulting, threatening or harassing her, police said.
Padilla told Lopez-Barnhart "he was going to be taking his son, and there was nothing the victim could do to stop him," the affidavit stated.
The girlfriend replied that she was going to contact the Department of Human Services and have his parental rights completely taken away, the affidavit said.
Padilla slapped the woman in the face, police said.
A man witnessing the argument told police he heard Padilla hit the woman.
"You just punched me in the face," Lopez-Barnhart said, according to the witness. Padilla shot back, "I didn't punch you. I just slapped you."
Lopez-Barnhart reminded Padilla that he was violating the protection order, the affidavit said.
Padilla pulled the baby from the car, and took off with the child in his car, police said. Lopez-Barnhart followed Padilla until he eventually parked the car in central Greeley, removed the baby and ran off with him.
Lopez-Barnhart returned home when she couldn't keep up with him, police said.
Padilla approached a woman he'd never seen before in the 1900 block of 12th Avenue and asked her to "take his son," the affidavit said.
The woman initially refused, but Padilla "forced (the baby) upon her," saying that "he was running from the law." He then fled the area, the affidavit said.
A witness in the neighborhood called police and officers arrived to take custody of the baby and search for Padilla.
Five hours later, an investigator searching the neighborhood returned to the home where Padilla abandoned the baby and found a car parked there with its engine running, police said. The investigator contacted Padilla and the father agreed to go to police headquarters.
Investigators separately interviewed Lopez-Barnhart and Padilla and then arrested the father.
"The baby is in good health," Greeley Police Sgt. Adam Turk said Tuesday.
Padilla has a seven-page state arrest history, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. It includes arrests for burglary, drug charges and a guilty plea for domestic violence.
Padilla appeared in court at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. His bond was set at $30,000.