VAN NUYS, CA – Like something out of a movie, this past Wednesday at the Government Center, a newspaper solicitor was not only selling legal notices, he was also fighting crime.
It all happened so fast. Several women with babies in strollers briskly walked down the Sylvan Street in Van Nuys, screaming “A man is masturbating behind a bush over by the city building! It is right in front of the Child Care Center, somebody help!”
With that knowledge and a desire to fight for what is right, Emilio Martin Mendoza, who was working as a newspaper solicitor at the nearby County Recorder’s building, jumped into action and jogged over to see what was happening. Sure enough, a sexual deviant was allegedly masturbating while children were being escorted in and out of the Child Care Center at the Van Nuys Government Center. Within seconds, Mr. Mendoza flagged down a Black and White, and the suspect was placed in hand cuffs.
George Christopher Thomas, President of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council and Volunteer for the LAPD Van Nuys Division who was also present at the scene, said “It was an act of heroism, and what Mr. Mendoza did showed class and was at the utmost pinnacle of responsible citizenship. Following the suspect’s arrest, Mr. Mendoza and I discussed the issue of the perpetrator’s conviction and realized we needed to find the initial witnesses. About 30 minutes later we found the witnesses and asked them to walk over to the LAPD Valley Division Headquarters to give their statements and seal the deal. Hopefully this man is going to jail for a very long time.”