Two Yosemite Rangers Assaulted Over Independence Holiday
Fresno, CA – A Los Angeles man has been charged with assaulting two Yosemite National Park rangers over the 4th of July weekend.
The charges came down today after a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today against 23-year-old Robert Anthony Mendoza Jr., of Pico Rivera, according to U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert of the Eastern District of California. He has been charged with assaulting a federal officer resulting in bodily injury and assaulting a federal officer with physical contact.
Park law enforcement rangers on July 3rd responded to a report of a fight in the campground known as Housekeeping Camp. When they arrived, they saw Mendoza Jr. fighting with his father, Robert Mendoza Sr. A violent confrontation began when the rangers tried to arrest Mendoza Jr. According to court documents, Mendoza Jr. hit one ranger multiple times in the face, resulting in pain, swelling, and bruising to the ranger’s head, jaw, and neck.
Once subdued, Mendoza Jr. was restrained in the back of a patrol vehicle, according to the court documents that went on to detail, “He [Mendoza Jr.] became violent again and slipped out of his restraints. When the rangers stopped to secure him, he began fighting with them and headbutted a second ranger.”
If convicted, Mendoza Jr. faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for assault on a federal officer resulting in bodily injury and up to eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine for assault on a federal officer with physical contact.