The police officer accused of critically injuring his 4-month-old son told police he found the infant’s two-year-old sibling on top of the infant while both children were in his care, a criminal complaint affidavit states.
Carlos Ricardo Mendez, a five year veteran of the El Paso Police Department, was arrested on September 14, 2018 and charged with “injury to a child/intent serious bodily injury.”
The El Paso Police Department’s Crimes Against Children unit responded to University Medical Center regarding an injury to a child case on September 13, 2018.
The preliminary investigation revealed the victim, Mendez’s 4-month-old son, had suffered from multiple fractured ribs and a torn liver while in the care of Mendez, police said. “A tear on the liver led to a buildup of blood in the victim’s belly,” a criminal complaint affidavit filed against Mendez states.
When police interviewed Mendez, he said he was with his two children at his residence “and at one point, found the infant’s 2-year-old sibling on top of the infant,” the affidavit states.
The affidavit states detectives spoke with a radiologist at the hospital who said the infant “sustained one traumatic incident to the belly that caused by a punch or a kick in the abdomen by an adult.”
The document further states the radiologist told detectives, “the traumatic blow to the (infant’s) abdomen caused the liver to tear, which bled extensively into the stomach … the child had so much blood in his stomach the child would have died if the child would have not been taken to the hospital.”
Further, the radiologist told detectives the infant’s injuries “were consistent with abuse” and that Mendez’s claim the injuries may have been caused by the two-year-old being on top of the infant “was not plausible.”
Police said Mendez has been relieved of duty.