Couple, charged in Westport with duct-taping tyke, accused of coin theft
Updated 10:01 am, Tuesday, April 3, 2012
A New York couple arrested in Westport after police found cell phone pictures of the woman's young son tied up with duct tape in early March was charged Monday with stealing from the Westport coin collection of a relative and blowing crack cocaine smoke in the toddler's face.
Arciola is being held at Bridgeport Correctional Center and Delacruz is at York woman's prison in Niantic.
According to their arrest warrants, the two got into a fight on the Friday before their first arrest, which took place March 7. On that date, Arciola set the stage for their arrests when he called police to tell them that he and Delacruz were embroiled in a domestic incident at his parents' home on Bridge Street.
During the March 2 incident, the two were in Arciola's car with Delacruz's son, 2, when Arciola turned from the front driver's seat and tried to blow crack smoke into the toddler's face, police said.
Delacruz began fighting with Arciola and suffered a bruise to her left thigh, the back of her right leg and an arm injury, according to the warrants.
When asked why she did not remove the child from the car when Arciola began smoking the crack, Delacruz said Arciola would not let her or her son out of the car, according to the warrants.
When they were arrested a few days after the fight, police obtained a friend's cell phone that they said had photographs of Delacruz's son tied to a high chair with duct tape around his legs and chest as well as over his mouth.
Delacruz said that although she participated in the taping incident, it was Arciola's idea to tie the child with duct tape, according to police
She told police he had other ways of punishing the child -- such as taking him outside and hosing him down with cold water.
With permission to search the phone with the pictures on it, police also discovered texts from the friend addressed to Arciola talking about selling coins to Fast Eddy Gold Dealer at 559 Post Road in Orange.
When police checked with shop owner Eddy Murieo, they were told Arciola sold $5,400 worth of coins to the store in three visits in early March, the warrant said.
The coins -- worth an actual total of $15,000 -- were brought back to Arciola's father, who positively identified them as belonging to him, the warrant said.
Arciola's father told police he had the collection in an unlocked safe in the basement next to a bedroom where Arciola and Delacruz were living for the past two months.
The store owner told police that Arciola had told him the coins belonged to his late grandfather and that his grandmother had asked him to sell them, according to the warrant.
On March 12, the biological father of Delacruz's son came to Westport police and turned over a bag of $350 in coins that were found in a car Delacruz had taken from her mother.
The two are scheduled to return to court April 23.