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Old 05-22-2009, 11:28 AM   #31
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Default Re: One Of The Most Horrific Stories I've Ever Come Across

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I saw this also....makes me physically sick to my stomach. This A-hole should be skinned alive and rolled in salt.
More like tested for suitability as a mandatory eye donor.
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:45 AM   #32
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Default Re: One Of The Most Horrific Stories I've Ever Come Across

Looks like there was another update this morning, which actually makes me pretty mad. Sounds like there were multiple opportunities to prevent this, including one right before it happened. I originally wasn't too upset that no one saw this coming, because how could you be expected to account for that kind of behavior? But now it looks like several people dropped the ball.

Oh yeah, plus if I'm reading it right, the poor kid is now permanently blind. So really, no positive news at all from this. Or even any news less than 100% completely miserable.

article


Blinded boy case: Police found drug residue in baby's crib in 2006
BY STEVE E. SWENSON, Californian staff writer

sswenson@bakersfield.com | Thursday, May 21 2009 05:37 PM

Last Updated Thursday, May 21 2009 05:46 PM

Most parents would lovingly place a favorite stuffed animal in their baby's crib.

But Angelo Mendoza may have stashed his drug supply where his infant son slept, according to police reports examined Thursday.

The incident came in 2006 when police were at the child's home and found a plastic pill bottled wrapped up with then baby Angelo Mendoza Jr. Inside the bottle was possible drug residue.

Several weeks ago, Angelo's father, Angel Mendoza, allegedly attacked the boy and bit out one of his eyes and damaged the other. Angelo is now blind.

The revelation raises the question: Why did Mendoza ever get back custody of his son?

Both Mendoza and the mother, Desirae Bermudez, were arrested on charges of being under the influence of PCP and child endangerment in the 2006 incident.

As the parents were driven to jail, baby Angelo was taken to the Jamison Center in the custody of Child Protective Services.

How long he stayed in protective custody is unknown, but Mendoza's brother said Thursday he was unaware that the child was ever taken away.

The brother, Jesse Rosas, 26, is now trying to obtain custody of Angelo.

Could Mendoza have quickly regained custody of a baby under those circumstances?

CPS program director Brian Parnell said can't talk about a specific case, unless there's a death or near death.

But Parnell said when a child goes to Jamison Center, what happens next can vary. In some cases the child will be placed with a relative. In other cases the parent can end up having to go to court and there could be restrictions before the child can be returned.

At a minimum, CPS would do an assessment before returning an endangered child to a parent, Parnell said. That could include drug testing, anger management or parenting classes before a child is returned, he said.

In Mendoza's 2006 criminal case, he got no jail time, three years probation and an order to attend a year-long parenting class, which he successfully completed. He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor child endangerment.

Now the 34-year-old father is accused of mayhem, torture and child cruelty. He's scheduled to be in court today for a status hearing.

In recent years, several parents have praised Mendoza's relationship with his son -- one noting that Mendoza won a parent participation award an an Oildale Head Start School.

But new revelations describe Mendoza as harsh, "wild eyed" and drugged in the week before the attack.

Bermudez told KBAK that she had gone to Mendoza's home hours before the attack to deliver a pizza. Her son was begging to go home with her, she said.

She said heard the boy cry, "Mommy, mommy, I want to go with you. I'm scared."

Bermudez, herself wanted on a $15,000 warrant for failing to complete a drug treatment class in the 2006 case, said she decided to leave then. (emphasis mine - what the hell were you thinking? -sr)

Another man, Harvey Clowers, who has played wheelchair basketball with Mendoza, told KBAK that recently Mendoza "had a wild look in his eyes" and appeared to be under the influence of something.

Mendoza, who has been wheelchair bound for four years after he was paralyzed in a stabbing, showed symptoms of PCP use the day he attacked his son, police reported.

Right after the attack, Mendoza hacked his own legs with an ax.

While there's been virtually no sympathy for his injuries, there's been global sympathy for his little boy.

People want to know how to help the boy.

The uncle, Jesse Rosas, went to the bank Thursday to set up a fund to help the child. He did not return calls later in the day for specifics.

Rosas said he is seeking custody because Angelo gets along well with his wife and their own children -- a boy, 9, and a girl, 3.

Rosas, a homeowner who has worked the last 4 and 1/2 years in the oilfields, said Angelo loved to play on the backyard swing set with his own children or come in and watch a movie with the adults.

Unlike Mendoza. Rosas has no criminal record.

He said he's a graduate of Centennial High School and sent to Taft College for a year and a half. He said is working with Child Protective Services on his application for custody and he fully expects a complete background check and home inspection.

Rosas is a member of Forever Changed, a Christian sport motorcycle group which is also planning fund raising events on Angelo's behalf, including a bike run on June 14. Details are still being worked out, he said.

The uncle said he doesn't have first hand information about how Angelo is doing because CPS is not disclosing that to the family. Hospital officials have confirmed Angelo is no longer at Kern Medical Center, but although CPS says the boy is in protective custody, CPS has not disclosed where.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:35 PM   #33
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Default Re: One Of The Most Horrific Stories I've Ever Come Across

The legal standard to take a child away from their parent in CA is clear and convincing evidence. Keep in mind while this also protects asshats like Mendoz it also protects parents that just believe in spanking their kids. Sucks, but that's the way it works. Oddly enough even the Mexican gangs in CA prisons don't tolerate abuse of women or kids, I'd say he's going to be in for a very crude awakening in prison, although he may be saved by being in a wheelchair.
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:06 PM   #34
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Default Re: One Of The Most Horrific Stories I've Ever Come Across

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The legal standard to take a child away from their parent in CA is clear and convincing evidence. Keep in mind while this also protects asshats like Mendoz it also protects parents that just believe in spanking their kids. Sucks, but that's the way it works. Oddly enough even the Mexican gangs in CA prisons don't tolerate abuse of women or kids, I'd say he's going to be in for a very crude awakening in prison, although he may be saved by being in a wheelchair.
Yeah, I agree it's hard for the authorities to really know when someone's kids are in actual danger. If they tried to act preemptively in every case, they'd obviously end up causing a lot of collateral damage by taking away thousands of kids whose parents really were OK. I was more upset about the cracked-out mother ignoring her kid screaming for help and just going about her day. I mean, it is a pretty serious break from character for the typical 4-year old to be begging for help because he's scared of the way his dad is acting.

If I showed up and my daughter was scared for her life, or even if something just didn't seem right, she'd be out of there faster than you could say "rocks and blocks." Or else the police would've been called, which obviously this woman was afraid to do because of her junkie past. But is that any excuse? If most of us were faced with a choice where our kid was in danger but to save him/her, we might face probation -- or even something like 90 days in jail on a fricking drug possession charge -- that's really no choice at all.

Who knows if that guy will even get what's coming to him in prison. In California, they go to especially great lengths to keep any criminals with a famous story apart from the general population. (note: that's one of the reasons why it costs twice the national average to house a prisoner in this state). Otherwise, I agree, the other inmates would tear him apart. But there's a chance he'll live out the rest of his days untouched in isolation because we have to be FAIR to him. This stupid state.
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:21 PM   #35
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Default Re: One Of The Most Horrific Stories I've Ever Come Across

I bet someone beats him with his own wheelchair.
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:49 PM   #36
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Default Re: One Of The Most Horrific Stories I've Ever Come Across

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I bet someone beats him with his own wheelchair.
Or gouges his eyes out with a shank. Evil rotten bastard.
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:23 PM   #37
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Default Re: One Of The Most Horrific Stories I've Ever Come Across

...and as if things couldn't get any more ironically tragic, it looks like the cops actually were there about an hour before this happened, but to no avail.


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Police went to Angelo Mendoza’s apartment shortly before he attacked, blinded his son
BY STEVE E. SWENSON, Californian staff writer
sswenson@bakersfield.com | Friday, May 22 2009 10:22 AM

Last Updated Friday, May 22 2009 03:30 PM

Bakersfield police went to Angelo Vidal Mendoza’s apartment less than an hour and a half before he reportedly bit out his sons eyes, new reports released Friday say.

Mendoza had actually called the police himself for a peace disturbance he had with the boy’s mother on April 28.

What happened is not clear. Police have not released any reports describing what they found when they got there, but Bermudez had already left and both she and neighbors said the boy, Angelo Mendoza Jr., was unharmed at that point.

Bermudez, 23, would later tell police that her son wanted to go with her because he was “scared” of his dad.

She, however, left without her son, telling police that Mendoza had never harmed her or the boy before.

A gag order issued this week in the case prevents police, attorneys or government workers from commenting on the case.

Mendoza, 34, is charged with mayhem, torture and child cruelty in the attack that left his son blind.

Mendoza, who is confined to a wheelchair from four years ago when he was stabbed in the back, faces a life sentence but would still be eligible for parole.

New information was revealed in 46 pages of police investigation reports examined on Friday. It includes that Mendoza tried to make it appear gang members attacked him.

He repeatedly told responding officers, “It was the Mexican Mafia.” Police said it appeared Mendoza had tried to make it look like he had been chained to a tree.

The next day, Mendoza told police he was out of his mind. He asked police to tell his son, “I love him, and that his dad was off his medication.”

When police asked him why he hurt his son, Mendoza asked to speak to his attorney, ending the interview.

Mendoza was scheduled Friday to be in court for a hearing, but it was delayed to Tuesday because he remains hospitalized at Kern Medical Center. Nurses said he’s in good condition.

He is recovering from self inflicted wounds to his leg with an ax and a broken ceramic plate, reports say.

That happened minutes after he attacked his son.

It appeared that the boy tried to escape from the attack by pulling out a large dresser and cowering behind it.

The boy was naked and unconscious when neighbors first found him. His pants and urine-soaked underwear appeared to have been pulled off of him, police said.

The boy regained consciousness and was violently shaking when police first arrived. He was taken to a Fresno hospital where he told a volunteer, “My daddy ate my eyes.”

Police reported that Mendoza showed symptoms of PCP use when he was arrested. But although prescription medication was found, no PCP was removed from his apartment, the reports say.

Mendoza told police he hasn’t used PCP in years. In 2006 when he was accused of using PCP, he ended up pleading to misdemeanor child endangerment. A bottle with apparent PCP residue was found in the then 1-year-old boy’s crib.

Mendoza told police that in recent weeks, he felt anxious and was seeing things that weren’t there.

A close friend of Mendoza’s, Artie Gray, told news reporters that Mendoza swore off using illegal drugs, including the marijuana for which he had a prescription.

That Mendoza attacked his son was inexplicable to Gray. “To me it seems a monster jumped inside of him,” Gray said.

Gray said he’s known Mendoza for two years and they had been planning a cross country trip in their wheelchairs to draw attention to victims of crimes.

Gray was shot five times in 1999 as he was washing his car. Those injuries confined him to a wheelchair.

Mendoza’s family talked to Gray but not news reporters at Friday’s hearing. Gray said Mendoza’s family have been receiving death threats and other “alarming phone calls that have caused the family to go into seclusion.”

Initial reports indicated the father’s name was Angel and the boy was Angelo, but family members say they are both named Angelo.
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