Fleeing Carjacking Suspect Puts Middle School on Lockdown
JURUPA VALLEY – A man believed to have carjacked a vehicle, fled into Mira Loma Middle School and was discovered hiding in a classroom.
A Jurupa Valley resident contacted the Riverside Sheriff’s Department at 12:13 PM on Friday, September 4th after a man stole his vehicle from his driveway. The victim reported that he was outside of his home in the 10000 Block of 50th Street in Jurupa Valley when a Hispanic male brandished a silver semi-automatic handgun and demanded his car. The suspect then drove off with the stolen vehicle heading east.
Authorities were on the lookout for the vehicle, when at approximately 3:39 PM, a Jurupa Station school resource officer spotted it in the area of Rutile and 50th Street. The vehicle was occupied by a Hispanic male driver. When he spotted the officer, the driver fled and a pursuit ensued. The suspect then come to a stop in the area of Steve Avenue and Jurupa Road, exited the vehicle and fled on foot.
The officer reported that the suspect had been seen running onto school grounds at the Mira Loma Middle School and called in backup. According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Department, a perimeter was established with the assistance from the Riverside Police Department’s helicopter, Air-1 and K-9 units from the Jurupa Valley and Moreno Valley Stations. The middle school was placed on administrative lockdown.
Once the school was searched, the suspect was found hiding in one of the classrooms. Authorities arrest 24-year-old George Michael Mendoza, a resident of Jurupa Valley without incident. He was later booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for carjacking, felony evading a peace officer and a probation violation.