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Attempted Westmorland Carjacking Thwarted

Border Patrol Agent and Citizen Come to Aide of Apostolic Pastor

WESTMORLAND — An off-duty Border Patrol agent and a private citizen are being credited with stopping a 24-year-old Westmorland man from carjacking a local church pastor about 12:50 p.m. Sunday, July 25 in Westmorland.

Though no injuries were sustained by the alleged victim, agent or citizen, the alleged carjacker, Antonio Mendoza, was treated and released at a local hospital before being booked into county jail, said Westmorland Police Chief Perry Monita.

Mendoza sustained undisclosed minor injuries when the off-duty agent and citizen pulled him from the pastor’s vehicle and a scuffle ensued, Monita said on Monday, July 26.

Mendoza was then taken into custody by Westmorland police and was booked into county jail for carjacking, making criminal threats and making criminal threats to an officer, Monita said.

The reported victim, who Monita said was allegedly assaulted by Mendoza, is a pastor at the Westmorland Apostolic Church, located at 177 N. Center St. Mendoza is alleged to have been in possession of a knife at the time of his arrest, but reportedly did not brandish it during the incident, Monita said.

“This could’ve gone really bad if not for the off-duty Border Patrol agent and the private citizen coming to the aid of the pastor,” he said.