Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
COP TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR ASSAULTING
EX-GIRLFRIEND AND TWO FRIENDS WITH FIREARM AND SHOOTING INTO AIR AFTER CAR CHASE
FULLERTON – A Long Beach Police Department Officer will be arraigned tomorrow 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, is charged with two felony counts of assault with a firearm, one felony count of discharging a firearm with gross negligence, one felony count of brandishing a firearm at a person in a motor vehicle, one misdemeanor count of domestic violence battery and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. He faces a maximum sentence of 16 years and four months in state prison if convicted. Mendez is out of custody on $100,000 bail and is scheduled for continued arraignment tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
Early in the morning of Oct. 20, 2008, Mendez is accused of driving 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 is accused of spotting 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 is accused of following the victims and driving up alongside their car while driving on the wrong side of the road. He is accused of pulling out a gun and pointing 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 is accused of following them.
When the victims finally pulled over in the car at Ravenna Street and Romneya Drive in Anaheim, Mendez is accused of stopping his car, getting out, and firing shots into the air as he approached the victims. He is accused of banging on the driver’s window with the gun in his hand and ordering Jane Doe #2 out of the car. As Jane Doe #2 began to get out of the car, Mendez is accused of grabbing her and dragging her out of the vehicle, throwing her to the ground. As the victims got out of the car and ran in different directions, Mendez is accused of firing shots into the air for the second time. He is accused of physically attacking 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 is prosecuting this case.