Angry Driver Plows Into Family Of Eight At 7-11, Killing Pregnant Mom
The driver got into his Nissan Infiniti SUV and allegedly rammed into the eight family members. He then reportedly hit the storefront, backed up, and plowed into the victims again.
HAVERSTRAW, NY - One woman was killed and seven other members of her family injured on Wednesday afternoon after an angry driver allegedly plowed into them in his vehicle in a 7-11, according to police.
Police believe that an argument started between the driver, Jason Mendez, 35, and the family after the children’s father, Shawn LeLoatch, asked Mendez not to blow smoke in the children’s direction. Police Captain Martin Lund confirmed that the incident began when the family got into an argument with the driver. The driver got into his Nissan Infiniti SUV and allegedly rammed into the eight family members. He then reportedly hit the storefront, backed up, and plowed into the victims again.
Authorities have confirmed that the mother, 32-year-old Melissa Castillo Deloatch, was killed. Police say six children were injured, as well as a 35-year-old man. All the children were under the age of 10. Their injuries range from minor to very serious, according to authorities. “Kids doing great up here,” DeLoach wrote in a Facebook post from Westchester Medical Center on Thursday.
After allegedly striking the family with the vehicle, Mendez got out of the SUV with a knife but failed to follow verbal commands, police said. “He didn't say anything initially to the police officers,” Lund said, according to the Daily Mail. “He refused to drop the knife. Then he was tazed at the scene and taken down.” Police reportedly said there is no evidence indicating the suspect is known to the family.
Witnesses in the parking lot described a horrific scene, with an employee of a local ambulance service reportedly describing it as "carnage." According to New York's WPIX News, authorities charged Mendez with second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted second-degree murder. He reportedly pled not guilty and is being held at the Rockland County jail.