Woman Charged With Child Abuse After Pepper Spray Hits One-Year-Old Boy

Jun 5, 2014

  A Mesilla woman who was involved in a family argument Wednesday was taken into custody and charged with child abuse after she allegedly used pepper spray on a one-year-old baby boy and the child’s grandmother.

Sophia Lawson, 32, was reportedly at her boyfriend’s mother’s house in the 2300 block of Calle Del Norte with several family members when an argument ensued between Lawson and her boyfriend’s niece.

The niece told Doña Ana County Sheriff’s investigators she and Lawson became combative toward one another after a verbal argument. Both parties admitted to drinking alcohol earlier in the evening.

Following the physical altercation, Lawson reportedly went to her room to get a can of pepper spray, which she tried to use on the niece but missed. The niece’s mother was standing in a doorway holding a one-year-old baby boy and reportedly told Lawson, “No – I have the baby.”

Witnesses told investigators Lawson deployed the pepper spray anyway, injuring the victim and the baby.

Lawson then reportedly grabbed a broken broom handle and threatened two other children at the house, ages 11 and 12.

Investigators arrested Lawson, charging her with three counts of felony child abuse. She was taken to the Doña Ana County Detention Center where she is being held on a $10,000 secured bond.

Lawson’s two-year-old child, who was present during the incident, was taken into protective custody.

Information from: Dona Ana County