|For Immediate Release
Case # 08NF3691
August 17, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
COP SENTENCED FOR ASSAULTING EX-GIRLFRIEND AND TWO FRIENDS WITH FIREARM AND SHOOTING INTO AIR AFTER CAR CHASE
SANTA ANA – A Long Beach Police officer was sentenced today for assaulting his ex-girlfriend and two of her friends with a firearm after chasing them in his car and firing shots into the air while off-duty. Orlando Mendez, 26, Anaheim, pleaded guilty to a court offer to one felony count of assault with a firearm, one misdemeanor count of assault with a firearm, one misdemeanor count of discharging a firearm with gross negligence, one misdemeanor count of domestic violence battery, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. Two counts, the misdemeanor assault with a firearm and misdemeanor discharge a firearm with gross negligence, were originally filed as felonies but were reduced today by the Honorable Robert Fitzgerald over the objection of the People. Mendez was sentenced to six months in jail, three years of formal probation, and 52 weeks of a batterer’s treatment program.
Early in the morning of Oct. 20, 2008, Mendez drove through Anaheim searching for his ex-girlfriend, Jane Doe #1, who had taken a rental car from Mendez a few days earlier. While driving on Harbor Boulevard at approximately 3:30 a.m., Mendez spotted Jane Doe #1 riding in the rental car with friends as they exited State Route 91. Jane Doe #1 was the passenger, friend Jane Doe #2 was driving, and Jane Doe #3 was in the back seat. Mendez followed the victims and drove up alongside their car on the wrong side of the road. He pulled out a gun and pointed it at the car while yelling for the three women to pull over. The driver, Jane Doe #2, attempted to drive in reverse to escape, but Mendez followed them.
When the victims finally pulled over in the car at Ravenna Street and Romneya Drive in Anaheim, Mendez stopped his car, got out, and fired shots into the air as he approached the victims. He banged on the driver’s window with the gun in his hand and ordered Jane Doe #2 out of the car. As Jane Doe #2 began to get out of the car, Mendez grabbed her and dragged her out of the vehicle, throwing her to the ground. As the victims got out of the car and ran in different directions, Mendez fired shots into the air for the second time. He physically attacked Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #3 by hitting and kicking both victims. The women were able to escape and call 9-1-1.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Olivieri of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.