Police investigate kidnapping incident, suspect in custody
Surprise, AZ (February 13, 2016) On February 13th, 2016 the Surprise Police investigated a kidnapping which occurred in the 12900 block of west Tara Lane. At approximately 9:00am hours it is reported that Heriberto Mendoza (Date of birth 07/26/1993) assaulted 25 year old female Alexis Escalante and subsequently forced her into his Red 2002 Dodge Ram pickup truck (Arizona license plate BLX-0530). Mendoza also took the victim’s 3 and 5 year old children into the truck before leaving the area. Additionally, it was reported that Heriberto Mendoza had previously made threats to kill Alexis Escalante and her two children.
This case developed further as a result of a citizen calling into the Phoenix Police Department to report having seen the Amber Alert vehicle. Sgt. Vincent Lewis of the Phoenix Police Department wrote,”at about 1:40pm, Phoenix Police responded to the area 27th Avenue and Thomas Road after a caller had spotted a vehicle listed in an Amber Alert earlier that day, out of Surprise, AZ. Along with helicopters and other agencies, the vehicle was observed coming to a stop near 27th Street and Cactus Road, where the driver exited and forcibly stole a white Dodge Charger from the driver. The vehicle was again observed until coming to a stop near 6200 W Glendale Avenue, in Glendale, AZ, where the officers were able to take the driver into custody without incident.”
When Mr. Mendoza fled his vehicle he left the adult and child victims behind in his own truck. They were subsequently recovered by responding officers. The adult female suffered injuries from the initial assault and there were no reported injuries to the children.
The investigation is ongoing, however, it is likely that Mendoza will face numerous charges from the Surprise Police Department to include but not limited to assault and kidnapping. Additionally, Mr. Mendoza will likely face additional charges from the Phoenix Police Department for the events that unfolded in Phoenix.
At the conclusion of the investigation Mr. Mendoza will be booked into the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail.