SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A man wanted on charges related to a missing juvenile has been arrested in Sumner County.
The Sumner County Sheriff’s Office says on Wednesday afternoon, deputies were told to be on the lookout for a gold Chevrolet Equinox, reported stolen out of Alabama, that was being driven by Fernando Mendoza, who was wanted for charges related to a missing juvenile as well as failure to appear.
Deputies received reports that Mendoza was armed with a gun and that he was not going back to jail.
Just after midnight, a deputy saw the Chevy on Highway 259 just outside of Portland. The license plate had been reported stolen from Franklin, KY. The deputy initiated a traffic stop, but the Chevy fled and the pursuit was eventually terminated.
At around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, investigators say a deputy again saw the Chevy back into a driveway on Clubbs Road in Portland. The deputies approached the home, knocked on the door and saw a woman eventually exit the home. She then told deputies Mendoza was inside the home and that she had left a two-year-old behind inside.
Deputies then established a perimeter and negotiators began trying to contact Mendoza, who would not respond. When deputies determined Mendoza had moved away from the child, a tactical team entered the home through a barricaded door and brought the child to safety.
Mendoza continued to move around the house, refusing to communicate with negotiators. Despite a chemical agent being put into the house, Mendoza still would not communicate.
The tactical team eventually went into the home and found Mendoza had removed the covering around a bathtub and then escaped into the crawlspace of the trailer, according to investigators.
A K9 unit located Mendoza under the home and he was then taken into custody.
Mendoza is currently being held in the Sumner County Jail and has had an additional kidnapping charge filed against him. Bail has not yet been set.
The Sumner County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Portland Police Department, Gallatin Police Department, Portland Animal Control, Sumner County EMS and Sumner County EMA for their help with apprehending Mendoza.