A 38-year-old man was arrested in North Hills Wednesday after allegedly posing as a police officer to kidnap a 13-year-old boy he had struck with his vehicle.
Ottoniel Mendoza was driving a 2019 dark gray Toyota Tundra pickup truck in the area of Van Nuys Boulevard and Tupper Street in Panorama City when he struck the boy, who was riding his bicycle at about 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Mendoza allegedly exited the truck, showed the boy a badge and identified himself as a police officer before directing the boy to get into his truck, which the boy did.
A witness followed Mendoza’s truck and contacted police, who were able to intercept the vehicle in the area of Sepulveda Boulevard and Tupper Street, authorities said. Mendoza, the victim and an unidentified man were in the truck when police conducted the traffic stop.
The boy was taken to a hospital with minor injuries he sustained when he was struck by the truck. Both Mendoza and the unidentified man were detained, but the passenger was released after he was interviewed by police.
Mendoza was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and booked into the LAPD’s Van Nuys Community Police Station jail, where he is being held on $100,000 bail.
No further details were released.