Los Angeles

Man hit 13-year-old boy with truck and posed as cop to try to kidnap him, LAPD says

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A 38-year-old man was arrested for kidnapping after he reportedly posed as a police officer to convince a 13-year-old boy to get in his vehicle after hitting him with his truck near Panorama City, police said.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the boy was riding his bike Wednesday morning near Van Nuys Boulevard and Tupper Street when he was struck by a pickup truck driven by Ottoniel Mendoza, police said.

Mendoza allegedly showed the boy a badge and told him he was a police officer and directed him to get into his truck.

“The victim followed the direction of the suspect and got into the suspect’s truck,” read a statement issued by LAPD on Wednesday.

A witness who saw the crash followed Mendoza and called police.

Mendoza was quickly found near Sepulveda Boulevard and Tupper Street. Police said he and another man were inside the truck with the 13-year-old.
The boy was sent to the hospital for minor injuries from the crash involving Mendoza’s pickup truck.

Mendoza was arrested and booked for kidnapping, according to police. The other man was interviewed but was not taken to jail, according to police.

Investigators released a photo of Mendoza in hopes of speaking with other possible victims.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police.

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