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      Police see increase of family violence calls during holidays

      Brownsville Police arrested 26-year-old Benito Alvarado Monday, after he allegedly threatened his common-law wife with a knife, and then held her down by the neck for refusing to be intimate with him.

      Police say the woman TMs 8-month-old child was nearby as Alvarado attacked the woman.

      Alvarado was charged with assault by strangulation, unlawful restraint and endangering a child.

      Brownsville Investigator Ted Torres said it TMs just one example of the many family violence cases they respond to during the holiday season.

      "Eventually, sometimes (family gatherings) would lead to bad recollections of memories and would ensue a lot of family violence calls, Torres said. It's been a traditional thing (and) this year especially, because of the economic crisis going on."

      However, Torres said it's not just feuding couples that tend to get into a lover TMs quarrel.

      On Christmas weekend, a Cameron County Sheriff Deputy had to be rushed to the hospital after he was stabbed in the thigh, when he responded to a fight between two brothers in the town of Lozano.

      Torres said sometimes, even if people don TMt have a violent history, the holiday season often has the right combination for disaster.

      "For the most part alcohol is involved, and once we get there, and we don TMt know what we're facing, Torres said. It can be anything from alcohol use, to drug use, to flat out being upset."

      These type of calls may seem to be as simple as breaking-up a family feud, but Torres said they are actually some of the most dangerous for authorities to respond to.

      "We have no idea what's going to happen, Torres said. We have run into incidents where we respond, assist the victim, and while making that arrest the victim turns against police - so we just never know."