Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
On April 13, Albuquerque police say an 11-month-old boy was taken from his father and placed on a 48-hour hold with the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department. Two days later, “against the recommendations of law enforcement,” CYFD put the baby back into the care of his father, Jeremiah Anderson.
Months later, three videos surfaced of the 24-year-old father punching, kicking and throwing his son – at one point screaming “die” at the child.
Anderson was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on Tuesday, charged with child abuse in connection with the incident that reportedly happened in September.
“CYFD is actively investigating the incident surrounding the disturbing video that has been circulated on social media,” said CYFD spokesperson Charlie Moore-Pabst. “The Department has taken steps to ensure the safety of the child believed to be in the video and will continue assessing the situation to keep the child safe while supporting the criminal investigation.”
Rebecca Atkins, an Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman, said police began investigating in late November after the videos came to light. She said the boy was found safe with his mother and taken to a local hospital for a “precautionary evaluation.”
Atkins said Anderson spoke with police on Tuesday and told them he had too much to drink and took his anger out on the child “due to custody issues.” She said Anderson told police he would “occasionally lose it” and beat the child.
Prosecutors filed a motion to detain Anderson until trial, calling him “an extremely violent and dangerous person.”
“There is no one more vulnerable than a small infant. As the baby’s father, (Anderson) should have been the person to protect him, not the one to beat him for no reason,” the motion states.
Prosecutors pointed out Anderson’s “history of violence” and that a judge denied a motion to detain him in a 2020 domestic violence case, leaving him out on conditions of release when the baby was beaten.
Anderson is still awaiting trial in those incidents.
In the first, on Jan. 30, Anderson was accused of beating and choking his girlfriend, leading her to stab him in self-defense. Then, in April, Anderson was arrested after allegedly beating the same girlfriend several times.
The girlfriend went on to be the mother of his child, according to court records, and sent the videos of abuse to a relative.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court:
On Nov. 29, a woman called police and reported she had been given, by a relative of the mother, three videos of Anderson abusing the boy. The woman told police she believed the videos were three months old.
Initially, police were not able to locate the boy through several welfare checks but eventually found him safe with the mother. The mother told police she was given the videos by Anderson’s cousin and said they were taken on an in-home surveillance system.
Police said the videos showed Anderson punching the boy several times in the face as the baby continuously screams before grabbing the boy by the neck and throwing him to the ground.
A separate portion, according to police, shows Anderson kick the boy and forcefully feeding the baby water, also hitting him in the head repeatedly with the bottle.
“In one video, (Anderson) can be heard yelling ‘Die,’ while striking the child,” a detective wrote.
Anderson turned himself in to police on Dec. 7 and told them he had recently watched the videos, which were taken in September. Anderson said he had drank several wine coolers prior to beating the baby, at one point calling the abuse “an accident.”
Anderson told police he was “unstable” at the time and “would occasionally lose it,” taking his anger out on the baby because the mother didn’t want him to have custody.
“Furthermore he was upset that (the baby) always cried for his mother,” a detective wrote.
According to police, on April 13, the baby had been placed on a 48-hour hold but two days later the Children, Youth and Families Department returned the baby to Anderson.
“This placement was against the recommendations of law enforcement,” a detective wrote.
Police believe the baby remained under Anderson’s care for several months – when the videos were made – before the mother took custody four weeks ago.