Cell phone video leads to arrest of man on child abuse charges

LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) - A man suspected of hitting his girlfriend's 2 1/2 -year-old daughter on the mouth Thursday evening was booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center on child abuse charges.

Efrem Duran, 38, is charged with two counts of child abuse after a brief investigation by Las Cruces Police detectives.

According to investigators, a home-health nurse stopped by a home in the 1700 block of Hadley where he allegedly saw Duran pull the toddler by her feet, causing her to fall and hit her head on the carpet. 

The witness pulled out his cell phone and began recording the incident, which police said showed Duran using the back of his hand to slap the little girl twice across her mouth. The video also shows Duran continuing to drag the girl by her feet toward him.

Police interviewed Duran and his girlfriend, who is the child's mother. They say the girl had bruising to her face and mouth. The statement of probable cause indicated that Duran became upset that the witness recorded the event and suggested he wanted to press charges against him.

The young girl's mother also told police that she disciplines her daughters by hitting them and she reportedly admitted to using drugs around her children as well, according to court documents.

Duran was taken into custody and is currently being held without bond.                                             


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