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Dad Accused of Hitting, Choking Son

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police spotted Theron Martinez sliding down an Interstate 40 embankment Sunday — this after he and his 5-year-old son were on the interstate, where Martinez allegedly beat and choked the boy.

Martinez, 27, of Zia Pueblo was arrested and charged with child abuse and booked into jail early Monday.

An Albuquerque police officer was called to check on the boy who was seen on I-40 about 6 p.m. Sunday.

The officer later found the boy on Fourth Street under an overpass. The officer heard a noise and saw a man on his buttocks sliding down the embankment to the sidewalk, according to the complaint.

The boy told police that he and his father, who was later identified as Martinez, were running on I-40 when his father became angry with him. He said his father slapped him, causing him to hit his head on a wall or barrier, the complaint states. The boy said his father also punched him in the nose and mouth and then choked him, according to the complaint.

Police saw injuries to the boy’s forehead, cheek, shoulder and neck that supported his story. The boy also had problems swallowing and told police it hurt when he tried.

Police spoke with Martinez, who asked if he was in trouble for walking on I-40. He denied harming his son. Police could smell a faint odor of alcohol coming from Martinez, according to the complaint.

Martinez also had an unrelated outstanding warrant out of Metro Court for failure to appear at his arraignment on charges of child endangerment and refusing to obey a police officer, charges he was arrested for in February, according to Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court records.

Martinez was being held in the Metropolitan Detention Center on a $55,250 bond on the child abuse charge and a $1,000 bond for failure to appear at his arraignment in Metro Court.
— This article appeared on page B2 of the Albuquerque Journal