GREELEY, Colo. – An alleged gang member is accused of using toddler as a shield during a standoff with Greeley police, according to court documents.
The standoff happened Saturday at the apartment of Michael Mendez's ex-wife. According to an arrest affidavit, the 31-year-old broke into the apartment through a balcony door on Feb. 7, punched her and grabbed a 10-inch kitchen knife, and said "...they will have to take me out before I go back to jail," The Tribune reported Monday.
Police went back to the apartment on Saturday to follow up with Maria Mendez, who first denied that her ex-husband was in the home but, after they asked her more questions, she told them he was in a bedroom where three children were sleeping.
As officers waited for backup, they said they heard what appeared to be the sound of glass breaking from the bedroom. When they entered, they found Mendez holding an 18-month-child in one hand and a window frame with broken glass in the other. According to the affidavit, Mendez demanded that police shoot and kill him and held the window frame near the child's head.
"Even though Michael commented several times on how he was not going to hurt (the child), his actions portrayed otherwise," officers wrote in their report.
A negotiator was able to get him to drop the glass and then officers grabbed the child. The toddler suffered minor injuries.
Police said the other two children who had been sleeping in the bedroom were safely removed.
Mendez was arrested on suspicion of felony burglary from the Feb. 7 incident as well on misdemeanor counts of child abuse, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and violation of a protection order. He was being held Tuesday in jail, and no attorney was listed as representing him in court records.