Charges dismissed for Everett man accused of ramming Yakima police gates

A judge last week deemed Jose Guadalupe Mendez incompetent to stand trial in the June 2023 incident.

Everett

By Donald W. Meyers / Yakima Herald-Republic

An Everett man accused of ramming his car into the gate of the Yakima Police Department parking lot last year is not competent to stand trial, a judge ruled last week.

At a May 7 hearing, Yakima County Superior Court Judge Richard Bartheld signed an order dismissing without prejudice charges against Jose Guadalupe Mendez, 34. A dismissal without prejudice allows prosecutors to refile the charges should the circumstances change.

Based on a report from mental health professionals, Bartheld found Mendez is unable to understand court proceedings or assist in his own defense due to mental illness and is unlikely to have his competency restored in a reasonable amount of time. Bartheld ordered Mendez evaluated for a civil commitment to a mental health facility.

Mendez was charged with first-degree malicious mischief, first-degree criminal trespass, driving under the influence and making a false statement in connection with the incident on June 25, 2023.

A Yakima police officer was in his patrol car in the parking lot on the west side of the department’s headquarters, 200 S. Third St., around 6:40 p.m. when he heard a crunching at the parking lot gate, according to a probable cause affidavit.

A 2000 Honda Accord was at the gate, which had been rammed open by the car, knocking it from its tracks and rail, the affidavit said. Once inside the parking lot, the Accord went to the the building’s secure vehicle entrance, and when the door automatically opened, the car sped inside and hit a Yakima police motorcycle parked inside, the affidavit said.

The car then backed up and made another run, and the officer ordered the driver, later identified as Mendez, out of the car. Mendez complied, but while on the ground made obscene gestures at the officer and swore at him, the affidavit said.

Officers smelled intoxicants on Mendez, the affidavit said, and found three empty bottles of Coors Light in the passenger seat and an ice chest in the back. Mendez refused to perform field sobriety tests or to blow into a portable breathalyzer, the affidavit said.

Mendez, the affidavit said, also gave officers two false names.

Reach Donald W. Meyers at dmeyers@yakimaherald.com.

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