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.