BELEN — An arrest warrant has been issued for a Belen man in connection to a stabbing committed Monday morning and allegations of child endangerment.
Francisco Hernandez, 29, is wanted by the Belen Police Department after allegedly stabbing a man twice on the morning of Sept. 27, then taking his own two-year-old daughter.
Belen Police Chief James Harris said officers responded to the Presbyterian Urgent Care on Christopher Road in Belen at about 8 a.m. on Monday. A man had been stabbed twice — once in his back and once in his leg.
During the investigation, officers learned the man had been stabbed after an argument turned physical between his girlfriend and the father of her child.
“This started over a child custody dispute. The victim, the mother and suspect, Francisco Hernandez, were at the Love’s gas station,” Harris said. “Hernandez drove off from the gas station with the child towards Sausalito Estates on the west mesa.”
The couple followed and caught up with Hernandez near James and Canon streets, Harris said.
“They all got out of their vehicles and what started as a verbal altercation became physical between the mother and Hernandez, the father,” the chief said. “At that time, the victim jumped in and attempted to protect the mother. That’s when Hernandez produced a weapon, stabbing him twice.”
The woman was able to get her child and the victim into her vehicle and drive to the urgent care. After they left, Hernandez went to the home of his children’s grandmother on Brown Drive in Rio Communities.
“By way of deceit, he took Italy, the other child’s sibling,” Harris said. “Due to totality of circumstances and because this individual was involved in a violent episode, we decided to initiate an Amber Alert.”
Agencies including the Belen Police Department, Valencia County Sheriff’s Office, New Mexico State Police and FBI searched for Hernandez and Italy throughout the day.
Shortly after 9 p.m., Italy was found.
“Hernandez had taken her to another person and that person contacted law enforcement,” Harris said. “Neither child was physically injured during this incident.”
Hernandez is wanted in connection to the incident on Monday and could face charges of battery against a household member, child abuse and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.