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2-year-old found safe after father violently beats ex-wife, police say


11-month-old also injured; father beat mother holding child, police say

FRESNO, California – A 2-year-old was found safe after being abducted by the father following the violent beating of the mother, the Fresno Police Department said Friday afternoon.

Police were looking for the man who they say severely beat his ex-wife and abducted their 2-year-old child, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

Dyer said Robert Paul Gonzales, 40, beat his ex-wife unconscious more than once after she’d posted on social media that she was dating a man.

An 11-month-old was also involved, and was struck while Gonzales was beating his ex-wife, Dyer said. He said it wasn’t clear if Gonzales struck the child intentionally.

“He is violent; he’s a menace,” Dyer said.

Around 11 a.m. Friday, police got a 911 call about a woman who had been beaten and held against her will overnight in a vehicle before escaping, Dyer said. She was held against her will along with her 11-month-old child.

The victim was initially reluctant to provide information out of fear of retaliation. She eventually disclosed that she had posted on Facebook that she was seeing someone — which enraged her ex-husband, Dyer said.

Dyer called Gonzales a violent Bulldog gang member with a significant violent criminal history. 

Around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the mother and the 11-month-old took a FAX bus to Manchester Center. In the parking lot, the Gonzales pulled up and front of her, got out and grabbed the 11-month-old and put the child in the vehicle, Dyer said.

He demanded that she get in as well, and out of fear for the child, she did, Dyer said. 

Gonzales drove away from the parking lot. Their 2-month-old girl was also in the vehicle. He drove around for several hours.

About 8 p.m., he began to beat the victim in the face, head and body — until she was unconscious, Dyer said. He later struck her in the head with what was described as a metal or steel spike — again knocking her unconscious.

Gonzales later put a blanket over the victim and the 11-month-old she was holding, and began to beat her again — striking the child at the same time, Dyer said. He later drove the victim to Kearney Park where he repeatedly beat her and gain knocked her unconscious. She thinks she was unconscious for three hours.

When she came to, she was in Victoria Park near Clinton and Brawley avenues, Dyer said. The 11-month-old was was in the car screaming, and the 2-year-old was gone.

Gonzales was still there, Dyer said.

He wrapped her in a blanket, taped her hands together tying her up. Gonzales then turned the vehicle heater on full blast, Dyer said. Then he left them both in the vehicle.

The 11-month-old began to scream again. The victim was fearful about the extreme heat. 

Gonzales had told the victim that he wanted her to feel exactly what he felt like when she’d posted on Facebook about dating another man, Dyer said.

Dyer said the victim was able to convince Gonzales that she would go back with him. While his guard was down, she was able to flee with the 11-month-old and flagged down a bystander.

The bystander told Gonzales to leave and that he was calling the police.

The victim appears to have a broken hand, contusions on the head, swollen black eyes, and a broken foot. The 11-month-old had facial injuries and is still hospitalized, Dyer said. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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