Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on November 30, Jorge Juarez Mendoza, 24, of Lakewood, was sentenced to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison (NJSP), as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Assault.
According to officials, Mendoza was likewise sentenced to ten years NJSP relative to his previously entered guilty plea to Eluding and three years NJSP in connection with his guilty plea to Criminal Mischief.
Additionally, as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Driving While Intoxicated, Mendoza’s driving privileges were suspended for a period of six months.
Mendoza pled guilty to all of these offenses on September 23. He has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the date of his arrest on September 7, 2019.
According to police, on September 7, 2019, Lakewood Township Police observed a motor vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed and swerving in and out of traffic on New Hampshire Avenue northbound.
As Officers attempted to execute a motor vehicle stop, the vehicle - operated by Mendoza – continued to elude the Officers before crashing into multiple vehicles on Ocean Avenue and finally coming to a stop.
Police reported that when the officers approached the vehicle, Mendoza climbed out of the passenger-side window. The Officers discovered an unconscious female, later identified as Marcela Alban, strapped into the passenger seat.
Police said that it was learned that the vehicle belonged to Ms. Alban and that she had previously been in a dating relationship with Mendoza. The Officers detected a strong odor of alcohol, and observed Mendoza to be acting erratically; as such, it was suspected that Mendoza had operated the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Officials reported that Mendoza was arrested at the scene and transported to Lakewood Police Headquarters. Ms. Alban was transported to Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus, where she was treated for her injuries and released.
Further investigation revealed that Mendoza appeared at Ms. Alban’s residence earlier in the day on September 7, 2019, and forced her into the vehicle with him by assaulting her and threatening her children. He then proceeded to drive recklessly through Lakewood, striking her as she pleaded with him to stop.
He continued to assault her until the motor vehicle crash occurred. At Lakewood Police Headquarters, Mendoza agreed to submit to chemical breath testing. The chemical breath test revealed Mendoza had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .14 percent.
In the State of New Jersey, an operator of a motor vehicle is presumed to be over the legal limit for purposes of alcohol consumption when his/her BAC is .08 or greater.
In addition to the foregoing, Mendoza had previously been charged on August 24, 2019, with Criminal Mischief for vandalizing Ms. Alban’s vehicle. He accepted responsibility for this criminal act as part of his plea agreement before Judge Gizinski on September 23.