Man accused of running over and choking teen arrested
By Kate Burgess, Reporter
TAVARES, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
A local man is accused of running over a 14-year-old girl and then trying to get away.
Lake County deputies said 22-year-old Adrian Mendez pulled the girl into his SUV in Eustis, then drove to Umatilla, where he tried to kill her.
Witness Shane Green told FOX 35 that the event replays every time he closes his eyes. He was barbecuing Sunday night at around 8:15, when he heard a scream.
"I ran in the house and told my wife to call 911. She was on the phone with 911 when he hit her twice," Green said. "He ran the girl over twice."
The teen told Lake County deputies that Adrian Mendez propositioned her for sex. When she refused, she said he grabbed her and pulled her into his truck.
Lt. John Herrell said, "He strangled her, she said, until she lost consciousness. So that's where the blanks come in that we are trying to fill in. What exactly happened between Eustis and Umatilla and the point where he ran over her, accelerated, and ran over her again?"
"The worst thing of all," according to Green, "the second time he hit her, he got on top of her, hit his brakes and was doing a spin out on the girl."
Deputies believe the two knew each other through a mutual friend, and the teen was able to identify Mendez as the man behind the wheel.
Mendez was caught a short time later in Marion County. He is facing attempted murder, kidnapping, and aggravated battery charges and is expected to be transported to the Lake County Jail sometime Monday or Tuesday.
The teen is in stable condition at the hospital, showing some signs of improvement.