Mesilla, NM woman allegedly pepper sprays baby

EL PASO, Texas - A Mesilla woman was arrested Wednesday after allegedly using pepper spray on a 1-year-old baby boy and the child's grandmother at a home in the 2300 block of Calle Del Norte.

Dona Ana County Sheriff's officials say 32-year-old Sophia Lawson was at the home, which is her boyfriend's mother's house.

Several of her boyfriend's family members also were at the home when an argument occurred between Lawson and her boyfriend's niece that then became combative.

The niece told Doña Ana County Sheriff's investigators that that they both were 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, according to sheriff's officials.

Sheriff's officials say 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 used the pepper spray anyway, injuring the grandmother and the baby.

Lawson then allegedly 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.

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