Ottoniel Mendoza, 38, is accused of hitting a 13-year-old boy with his truck Wednesday and then impersonating an officer before trying to kidnap the teen—and cops fear this is not the first time.
According to an alert from the Los Angeles Police Department, the youth was riding his bicycle at around 8 a.m. near Van Nuys Blvd. and Tupper St. when he was struck by Mendoza’s dark gray 2019 Toyota Tundra pickup truck. Mendoza then exited the truck and approached the boy.
“He showed the victim a badge and told the victim he was a police officer and directed the victim to get into his truck,” the statement said. “The victim followed the direction of the suspect and got into the suspect’s truck.”
Police say that a witness to the collision followed Mendoza’s truck while the child was inside the vehicle and contacted the police.
“From the information the witness relayed, LAPD Mission Area officers located the suspect’s vehicle in the area of Sepulveda Boulevard and Tupper Street,” police said. “The suspect and an additional adult male, along with the victim were in the truck at time of the investigative stop.”
The victim was transported to a local hospital for medical attention for minor injuries received when Mendoza’s truck allegedly struck him on his bike.
Mendoza and the adult male passenger were detained and interviewed, with Mendoza being booked for kidnapping while the other man was not booked, according to LAPD.
“In an attempt to identify additional unidentified victims, detectives are releasing the suspect’s photo,” the alert states.
The department also provided pictures of the vehicle.
Anyone with information about this incident are asked to contact Mission Area Detective Bryce Kirk at (818)838-9810. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.