Man arrested, accused of impersonating a police officer to kidnap 13-year-old boy

City Hall is reflected in the front glass entrance to the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters
A 13-year-old boy was riding his bike in Panorama City on Wednesday morning when he was hit by a pickup truck whose driver showed the boy a badge and told him to get in, according to the LAPD.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
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A 38-year-old man who impersonated a police officer to get a 13-year-old boy into his truck was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of kidnapping, Los Angeles police officials said.

Around 8 a.m. Wednesday, the boy was riding his bicycle near Van Nuys Boulevard and Tupper Street in Panorama City when he was struck by a pickup truck, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

A man identified as Ottoniel Mendoza got out of the vehicle, showed the boy a badge and told him he was a police officer, the LAPD said.


Mendoza told the boy to get into the truck and he did, police said.

The attack, which was caught on video, came after the woman demanded more food from the vendors that was still being prepared, police said.

July 6, 2022

A witness followed the truck and called police after the crash.

Officers found Mendoza, another man and the boy inside the truck near Sepulveda Boulevard and Tupper Street.

The boy was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries he sustained in the crash.

Both adult occupants of the truck were detained and interviewed, but only Mendoza was arrested and booked into jail, police said.