The following is a press release issued by the Ukiah Police Department. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On 10/09/20 at approximately 0942 hours, an on duty UPD officer observed a vehicle commit a traffic violation in the 700 block of S. State St. The officer activated his patrol vehicles overhead emergency lights and initiated a traffic enforcement stop on the vehicle. The vehicle yielded to the officer in the 800 block of S. State St.
The officer contacted the driver (Mendez) and the passenger (Kahaner) of the vehicle and asked for their identification. Mendez advised the officer he did not have a driver’s license and provided a false name and date of birth to the officer. The officer returned to his patrol vehicle and provided the false name to UPD Dispatch and asked them to run a records check. UPD Dispatch advised the officer they were unable to locate a record on the name that was provided, but advised the officer they found a “close match” and believed the drivers true identity was Christopher Mendez. UPD Dispatch advised the officer the subject that was a “close match” had three active felony warrants out of Los Angeles Police Department.
The officer returned to the suspect vehicle and contacted the driver of the vehicle. The officer advised the driver he believed the driver had lied about his identity and asked the driver for his true identity. The driver admitted to the officer he lied about his identity and confirmed his true identity was Christopher Mendez. Mendez advised the officer he was aware he had warrants out of Los Angeles and advised he did not want to go back to jail.
The officer asked Mendez to step out of the vehicle. Mendez refused to step out of the vehicle and attempted to roll his window up on the officer. The officer reached inside the vehicle and opened the driver’s door. The officer again ordered Mendez out of the vehicle, but Mendez refused. The officer took control of Mendez’ arm and pulled him out of the vehicle. Once Mendez was removed from the vehicle Mendez attempted to run from the scene, but the officer maintained control of Mendez’ arm and prevented Mendez from fleeing. Mendez turned and faced the officer and began punching the officer. The officer and Mendez engaged in a brief fight until Mendez again attempted to flee the area by running into the middle of S. State St. The officer ran after Mendez and another fight ensued between Mendez and the officer in the middle of the roadway. The officer deployed his taser at Mendez, which had no effect on Mendez. Mendez and the officer fell to the ground where Mendez continued to resist the officer’s efforts to take him into custody. Two additional UPD officers arrived on scene and Mendez was taken into custody.
During the altercation between Mendez and the officer, the passenger of the vehicle, Kahaner, had exited the vehicle. During Mendez’ arrest Kahaner attempted to approach the arresting officers. The officers advised Kahaner to keep her distance from them as they struggled with Mendez. After Mendez was arrested, Kahaner was advised she was detained during the investigation. Kahaner began screaming at officers and failed to obey lawful commands. Due to Kahaner’s escalating behavior she was advised she was going to be detained in handcuffs. As Officers attempted to place Kahaner in handcuffs Kahaner became physically resistive. Officers were able overcome Kahaner’s resistance and place her under arrest.
A search of Mendez and Kahaner’s vehicle was performed. Approximately 69 pounds of marijuana and items commonly associated with marijuana sales were located in the vehicle. A used methamphetamine pipe was also located in the vehicle.
Mendez was transported to Ukiah Valley Medical Center for treatment of injuries sustained during his arrest. One law enforcement officer sustained minor injuries during the incident, but medical treatment was not necessary. Mendez and Kahaner were ultimately booked at the Mendocino County Jail for the above listed offenses. Mendez is being held on a $15,000.00 bail. At the time this press release was prepared Kahaner had already been released from jail on a pre-trial release.