Lapel video shows officers saving 5-year-old boy from abuse
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New video shows multiple officers saving a five-year-old boy from serious physical abuse. The boy’s mom and her boyfriend are in custody – both charged with felony child abuse.
Officers met Phillip Valencia at the door to a northeast Albuquerque apartment near Wyoming and Central on Oct. 29.
Officer: Who lives with you?
Valencia: Huh, I live with my mom.
Officer: Your mom?
Valencia: Yeah, she’s in the hospital right now.
That was Valencia’s first lie.
“Well, it’s me and my girlfriend,” he said. He goes back inside to get her. She is later identified as Natalie Saiz.
Officer: We got a call there’s a kid in this apartment.
Saiz: My son?
Officer: Yeah, your son. That he doesn’t look well, so that’s why we’re here to check on him.
Saiz: Yeah, he fell off the other night so he’s kinda bruised up a little bit.
This is the first of many times Saiz mentions her son falling off the bed. An officer explains they have to check for food, running water, and a safe place for the boy to sleep inside the home.
Officer: We’re gonna have to check on the kid one way or another bro, so you can make this harder, or you can make it easy, dude.
Officers head inside the dark apartment to look around. His mom carries the young boy out of a bedroom and tells officers they’re welcome to look at him. This is where things start to escalate – when the mother realizes they’re going to take her son.
An officer reported she saw “severe bruising on the boy’s stomach, chest and legs. First responders arrived to take him to the hospital, while the other responding officer tried to get a straight story out of the couple.
Saiz tells officers that the boy’s biological dad is the one responsible for the abuse.
Saiz: You’re gonna f***ing take my kid from me when I’m not the one abusing him, dog!? His dad does!
The biological dad told police he hadn’t seen his son in two weeks, prior to the police response. He also said Saiz admitted to spanking the boy and using illegal narcotics.
Police took Saiz into custody for attempted battery on a peace officer. Child abuse charges against both of them weren’t filed until days later.
Saiz and Valencia both have a history of domestic violence. Both had cases dismissed in recent years.
A judge already decided Valencia will stay in jail until trial – and Saiz is scheduled to have a hearing on Friday where a judge will decide whether she will do the same.