Santa Ana, CA — The issue of police relationships with minority communities remains a sensitive one. Particularly when stories about police officers using lethal force against unarmed minority men fill the airwaves. Recently, a criminal suspect was so frightened for his safety that he called a local newspaper while barricaded inside his aunt’s mobile home in Santa Ana.
The Orange County Register reports that on Thursday morning of last week, their offices received a phone call from Armando Mendoza, 32. Earlier that morning—around 7:15 am— Mendoza, who is a suspect in a carjacking and kidnapping in January, was spotted by Garden Grove police officers who pursued him into the Park Terrace Mobile Home Park in Santa Ana. The Garden Grove and Santa Ana PD both searched for him and determined that he was inside the mobile home owned by his aunt.
Mendoza, who was reportedly worried about police violence against him, was quoted in the Register as having said, “They are going to let the dogs loose or they are going to whup me,” in reference to the police. Mendoza’s sister, who was included in the 13-minute-long three-way call, told her brother that he should surrender himself to the police. He eventually did turn himself over around 10:00 am, after informing officers that he was on the line with a newspaper.
Police were able to safely remove Mendoza’s aunt from the mobile home during the standoff. However, a woman and three children who rent a room were trapped inside. Fortunately they were not injured. According to Mendoza’s sister, Nancy Preciado, Mendoza feared for his life because of recent high-profile instances of police violence against minorities. Mendoza was taken into custody without incident.
Our Constitution provides for the rights of all people to be treated equally and with due process regardless of their color or creed. And law enforcement officers and prosecutors certainly know this, but they are also human, and sometimes human prejudices can impede their judgement. That’s one of the reasons why legal representation is so important. No matter how deeply your rights are embedded in the legal code, without somebody to stand up for those rights they can easily be brushed aside or forgotten.
At the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we’re proud to stand up for the rights of our clients in Southern California’s criminal courts. We’ve been defending clients against criminal charges for more than 16 years. In that time, we’ve built up a strong reputation for having felony and misdemeanor charges reduced or dismissed. Our firm doesn’t shy away from difficult or high-profile cases and our staff are available 24/7 to address any questions or concerns you might have about your case, so please contact an Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.
One of the best parts of practicing law in Southern California is getting to work with people from different backgrounds and walks of life. Having offices in Santa Ana, Irvine, Garden Grove, and Newport Beach allows us to better serve Orange County’s diverse population and court districts. We are proud to offer foreign language assistance to our clients as needed.
Fausto, Alma and Scott Schwebke. “‘They are going to whup me’: Carjacking, kidnapping suspect calls Register while barricaded inside Santa Ana mobile home.” http://www.ocregister.com/articles/police-657300-santa-grove.html. Orange County Register. 9 April 2015.