The Town of New Windsor Police Department arrested a man Wednesday following an ongoing investigation into a hit and run motor vehicle crash.
The crash involved multiple parked cars in a parking lot off of State Route 300 in New Windsor and no one was injured in the crash. Immediately after receiving a report of the crash, New Windsor police officers located the motor vehicle that caused the accident and its operator several miles away after it had fled the scene. As part of their investigation, the officers found the vehicle’s operator to be in possession of substances that they believed to be illegal drugs.
The vehicle operator identified himself as a police officer and he stated that he was in possession of the substances in his official capacity as a police officer. Further investigation determined that the driver did not legally possess the substances as part of his police authority and lab confirmation determined that the substances involved were in fact a quantity of cocaine and a hallucinogenic drug known as MDMA.
Arrested was: Carlos Mendez, age 41 of Middletown,. Mr. Mendez is employed by the City of Newburgh Police Department as a Police Officer. He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 4th degree (D-class felony), Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree (A-class misdemeanor), official misconduct (A-class misdemeanor) and leaving the scene of a property damage motor vehicle accident (traffic infraction). He was arraigned before Town Justice Noreen Calderin and released as required by state law with no bail and a mandatory appearance ticket to appear in town court on October 13, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. for further court action.
New Windsor Police Chief Robert Doss stated, “Every police officer takes an oath of office when they are appointed to their position and when that oath is violated, it falls upon other police officers to hold the line and do what is right. That is exactly what happened in this case. No one is above the law, especially police officers. I commend the New Windsor police officers that investigated this complaint to its fullest extent and I would expect nothing less from them.” Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler stated, “I thank the Town of New Windsor Police Department for their professionalism and diligence on this case. It is always disappointing when there is an allegation that a police officer has engaged in criminal conduct, and even more so when it is alleged that an officer has used his badge to attempt to hide from his crimes. No one is above the law. Thankfully, instances of police officers committing the types crimes alleged here are rare, particularly here in Orange County, where the vast majority of our police officers behave honorably and legally in risking their lives every day to keep our residents and property safe. When allegations of criminal police misconduct are made, they must be diligently investigated and acted upon.”