Rockland County Acting District Attorney Kevin Gillette on Wednesday announced the indictment of Jason Mendez (DOB 02/10/84) of 91 Toleman Road, Washingtonville, New York was arraigned on an indictment charging him with:
- One count of Murder in the Second Degree, a class “A” Felony
- Seven counts of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, a class “B” Violent Felony
District Attorney Gilleece said, “This is a horrifying case of a total stranger running down a defenseless family, leaving the mother dead. His actions should result in him spending the rest of his life in prison.”
On February 20, 2019, at approximately 1:50 p.m.,Mendez intentionally drove his vehicle, a 2013 Infinity with Texas license plates, across the parking lot of a 7-11 convenience store on Central Highway in Garnerville.
According to the charges, the defendant crashed the vehicle into a family of eight people, who had been standing on the sidewalk in front of the store.
The family included children ranging in age from 11 months to 10 years. The mother, Melissa Castillo, died as a result of the injuries she sustained when hit by the Mendez’ vehicle.
The father and six children were treated for injuries and have since recovered.
The defendant was stopped in the parking lot by officers from the Haverstraw Police Department. When he exited his car, he allegedly pointed a box cutter at the officer and refused to drop the weapon. Mendez was the ultimately tasered and placed under arrest.
After an investigation by the Town of Haverstraw Police Department, the defendant was arrested and charged.
He was arraigned before the Honorable John Grant of the Town of Haverstraw Justice Court and remanded pending future court appearances.
Mendez faces a maximum sentence of twenty-five years to life in state prison.
Executive Assistant District Attorney Stephen Moore is prosecuting the case.