Sergio Mendoza-04

Sergio Mendoza excelled in several sports, including baseball, football, and track. He played quarterback on East Bakersfield High School's junior varsity football team before he dropped out of school in his junior, or possibly senior year, his family said.

Drunk and angry, the three men were in the mood for violence as they walked the streets near Mill Creek Park in the middle of the night. 

Sergio Mendoza just happened to have the bad luck to be in their path. 

The men — Nathaniel Mayfield, 24, Steven Buckner, 19, and Timon Everidge, 18 — beat Mendoza then chased him and beat him some more when he tried to get away, according to recently filed court documents.

Everidge repeatedly stabbed the 34-year-old, the documents say. Mendoza died at the scene.

Mendoza's family has said he was the homeless man who police said in 2014 helped convince an apparently suicidal woman not to jump from the Wilson Road overpass at Highway 99, then clung to her when she slipped and held on until police arrived and pulled her to safety. 

Asked for the reason behind the July 11 attack, Buckner told Bakersfield police detectives Mendoza, whom he described as unarmed and defenseless, was chosen at random. He said he felt bad about the assault afterward and went home and fell asleep. 

Mayfield told investigators he'd been "extremely drunk and mad," still seething over being pushed by a girl earlier in the night. Buckner, however, said all three men were in a foul mood over a theft about which he provided no further information.

Whatever the reason, the men agreed they confronted Mendoza near the park and beat him.  

At some point during the assault Mayfield noticed Mendoza had been stabbed, according to the documents. He told investigators he ran away as Mendoza cried for help, and only later returned to the scene to check if he was dead. He never summoned medical aid. 

Everidge said he stabbed Mendoza because "he was in a mood to do so," an investigator wrote in the documents. He expressed no remorse.

"(Everidge) stated that he was, in a manner of speaking, mentally disturbed and had no real reason for his actions," the investigator wrote. 

And despite Buckner's expression of regret, his cellphone revealed text messages between him and Everidge in which they joked about the incident and sent "laughing face" emojis to each other, according to the documents. 

It's believed the assault occurred at about 2:45 a.m. Police were called around two hours later to the intersection of 19th and V streets, where they found Mendoza's shirtless body on the sidewalk.

Six puncture wounds were visible: two on his chest, one on his left bicep, two on his left tricep and one one his left forearm. He also suffered multiple injuries to his head, knees, hips, elbows and hands, according to the documents. 

Witness tips provided by phone — and by an informant with another law enforcement agency who reported having second- and third-hand information related to the case — helped investigators identify the suspects, the documents say. They were arrested July 20. 

Surveillance cameras did not capture the attack, but footage shows Mayfield and Buckner walking in the area at the time, the documents say.

The informant reported the men robbed Mendoza of aluminum cans during a prior confrontation, according to the documents. 

Mendoza was born in Bakersfield and attended Highland High before transferring to East Bakersfield High in his freshman year, his family said. He dropped out of school his junior or senior year. 

He later suffered from addiction issues and possible mental illness, the family said, and began taking nighttime walks.

Several people told police Mendoza was known to exhibit erratic behavior and randomly shout obscenities as he walked, but was considered harmless and rarely had problems with anyone, according to the documents. 

Everidge, Mayfield and Buckner have each pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and are next due in court Aug. 24. 

(3) comments

Cookcook

Looks like going for "night walks" should be replaced with some "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard,stay home!"

Danny c

Our city streets should be safe enough to walk during the day and so at night, I myself have been shot at walking home from my gym late at night to my home in rosedale, a place not very known for violent attacks on innocent people. And not all people even have the choice to lay on a bed at night and some don’t even know when their next meal will be some aren’t as blessed as you or me, yes some suffer from addiction and mental illness and some choose the life they have. this man was a hero none the less and didn’t deserve any of this to happen. if it weren’t for his “night walks” that you call dumb he would not have saved the life of a woman who felt like she had nothing and at a time of complete sadness he convinced her that life was better to live on and keep going, keep in mind a man, a homeless man for that fact he was someone who had nothing in life, and yet he still even managed to help and when she was walking off slipped and he held her as she slipped and almost succumbed to her own death, he also saved multiple people from a burning apartment complex banging doors in and saving dogs and cats yelling for people to leave the building. if it weren’t for his bravery and those “night walks” there would have been more tragedy in the city of Bakersfield than when his own life was taken so sadly from us. he was a angel in disguise and we as people of Bakersfield should stop to think about our homeless population because they are a reflection of us and how we help the community.

Cjh714

May they all be sent to death row!

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