CALAVERAS COUNTY – Like a scene from an old Errol Flynn movie, a man with a rakish beard pulled back a bow and tried to shoot his enemy, who narrowly missed being hit by jumping out of a window. But this was no movie, and the target of the attack was in fact nearly killed by an assailant who was likely drunk at the time.
West Point is a small town of about 700 people in the Sierra foothills, several miles east of Jackson in Calaveras County. It was early in the morning of Friday, June 5 when, according to Calaveras County Sheriff’s Sergeant Anthony Eberhardt, a 49-year-old man, Michael Rae Mendibles, got into an altercation with an unidentified 19-year-old man. Both were at a home along Highway 26, which runs north from the main part of town toward the Mokelumne River. The teen reported that Mendibles was drunk and confronted him, made several threats, and then attacked him with knives.
The two then tangled, and the victim managed to get the knives away from Mendibles, who then left the scene. While the 19-year-old dealt with minor cut wounds from defending himself in the attack, Mendibles, possibly going to his own home at the corner of Highway 26 and Main Street, about a half mile away, retrieved a bow and arrows.
Mendibles came back to the scene, and as he confronted the 19-year-old, he drew back his bow. The younger man, however, jumped through a window and escaped, quickly calling the Sheriff’s office. It was 7 am when they received the call, and sent deputies to the scene. They met the victim there and took his statement, and found Mendibles back at his home, arresting him at 7:30 that morning without further incident. He was booked into Calaveras County jail on charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and battery. Bail was set at $510,000.