Police: Bystander used bear spray to stop man attacking woman, baby

Posted at: 08/18/2014 10:39 AM
Updated at: 08/18/2014 10:46 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

Albuquerque police say a woman saved a mother and baby from a violent assault by spraying a can of bear pepper spray into their attacker's face.

According to the criminal complaint, the child's mother brought the baby to visit her father, Phillip Duran, at an Albuquerque motel on Friday night. The mother told police Duran had been drinking and was angry over the amount of time she allowed him to see the child.

Duran then reportedly shoved her to the floor when she tried to leave and punched her 30 times in the head and face.

When she was able to flee from the room, police said Duran grabbed the child's carrier and said, "Here—you can have your kid," before throwing her down concrete stairs from the second story of the motel.

A bystander in the parking lot, Tonya Russell, witnessed the man throw the baby and then saw him continue his attack on the woman, who was holding the child in her arms.

Russell grabbed a can of bear spray from her car and sprayed the entire can into Duran's face.

The baby and mother were taken to UNM Hospital for treatment. The baby suffered a brain bleed and the mother had a broken nose and swollen face from the attack.

Duran is facing charges of child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, kidnapping and aggravated battery against a household member.