A Bakersfield, California, man who bit out his 4-year-old son’s eyes during a grue*some PCP-fueled rage will most likely spend the rest of his life in a state psychiatric hospital after a Los Angeles County judge accepted his plea of “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity or Mental Defect.”
Two state psychologists report to the judge that Angelo Mendoza Sr. was insane at the time of the heinous act and is unlikely to regain competence anytime soon.
An Argument Starts it All
Angelo Mendoza Sr. called Bakersfield police on April 28, 2009, after the boy’s mother caused a disturbance at his home. Deserai Bermudez, the woman, fled the house before police arrived. Mendoza told officers he had recently stopped taking his psychiatric medications, but nothing seemed unusual. When officers left the house, both Mendoza and his son were unharmed.
A Horrific Discovery
Neighbors called police later that day after discovering the injured child in Mendoza’s father’s home. Those same neighbors reported to police that they saw a man in a wheelchair cutting his legs with an ax in the backyard.
Mendoza Paralyzed in Atta*ck Four Years Earlier
Mendoza used a wheelchair after being paralyzed in a stabbing in 2005. Mendoza was stabbed in the back four times. Before being arrested, he told police that the Mexican Mafia had injured him and his child.
The youngster was severely injured but remained conscious. When asked what happened to his eyes, he replied, “My daddy ate my eyes out.”
Mendoza was charged with aggravated mayhem, torture, willful cruelty to a child, and inflicting bodily harm on a child. After accepting Mendoza’s insanity plea, the judge committed him to the Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk.
High on PCP
It turns out that more than just discontinuing medication had an impact on this att*ack. When Mendoza atta*cked his son, he was high on PCP. He and Bermudez were charged with child cruelty in 2006 after an incident in which both were high on PCP. Following the incident, a DCF case was opened against the couple.
Mendoza has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1997.
Bermudez was serving a warrant at the time of the att*ack. She did not complete a drug treatment program ordered by the court.
The boy was treated for his injuries at a nearby hospital. The att*ack blinded him in his left eye, but his right eye recovered miraculously. He was in foster care for a while before the state placed him with an aunt.
When Will Mendoza Get Released From the State Hospital?
Professionals say it’s likely that Mendoza will spend the rest of his life in the state psychiatric hospital. Before a judge would allow outpatient treatment, they had to say that the person was no longer crazy. This needs a long time of treatment and improvement. A court has to decide that a person is no longer crazy and is no longer a danger to themselves or others before they can let them go. This needs a lot of proof and the approval of a judge.