A man has been arrested after he allegedly abducted a one-year-old child, who he does not have parental rights of, in Vernon Hills and injured the child’s mother in the process.
Victor A. Barriga, 36, of Wheeling, was charged with one count of child abduction, a Class 4 felony.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Dino Katris said Barriga arrived at his one-year-old child’s mother’s work in Vernon Hills to confront her about an issue on December 19.
Barriga appeared intoxicated and the woman did not want him driving with the toddler, Katris said.
She attempted to reach into an open car window to try and take the child but Barriga began driving off.
The woman, who is pregnant, suffered bruises and scraps to her body from hitting the ground, Katris said.
She called 911 and the Vernon Hills Police Department responded to the scene.
Barriga and the woman share the 1-year-old girl in common.
Katris said there are no court orders or custody agreements related to Barriga’s parental rights. He is the putative father of the toddler.
The Wheeling Police Department later located Barriga’s car in their town.
He fled in the vehicle when officers arrived, Katris said. Officers tracked the man’s phone, which pinged in Evanston, Arlington Heights, Chicago and other cities over a period of time.
Officers called him and he claimed he was in Indiana. They heard a child crying in the background.
The Chicago Police Department located Barriga’s car in their city on December 20, Katris said.
Katris said the man had contacted the child’s mother that day and threatened to take the child to Mexico, saying that she would never see the child again.
Barriga continued being uncooperative with officers and the child’s mother asked Barriga to meet her in Wheeling, Katris said.
Barriga arrived and was taken into custody by police, who recovered the child. He was found to be driving under the influence.
The man has prior felony convictions and has served time in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
One of the prior cases was an attempted murder case that was reduced to an aggravated battery with a firearm and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office filed a petition to detain Barriga pending trial.
Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak granted the petition during a detention hearing after agreeing with prosecutors that Barriga poses a threat to the safety of the victims.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled in the case for Thursday.