Investigators say the situation began Wednesday morning, when a Mapleton woman called police saying her baby’s father had just assaulted her and drove away with their 2-month-old child.
Deputies say it happened at about 10 a.m. at the couple’s home on the 11000 block of Fir Road. They say 30-year-old Matthew Berkner assaulted Valerie Clark, and when he took off with their baby he allegedly told Clark the child was going to die.
LCSO then initiated an Amber Alert. About 30 minutes later, the sheriff’s office learned Berkner had driven to his mother’s house and crashed the car into a pole near the driveway, all while his baby was in the car.
The sheriff’s office says Berkner left the house on foot after giving the child to his mother. Berkner returned to the house shortly after, but fled again when law enforcement arrived at the home. Police were able to track him down at the couple’s home.
Berner was taken into custody without issue at about 1:30 p.m.
Due to the proximity of Berkner’s location to school grounds, Mapleton High School was put on lockdown as a precaution.
The 2-month-old child who was in the vehicle with Berkner at the time it crashed was evaluated by medics and transported to by family to a local hospital for further evaluation.
The investigation is ongong.