Bakersfield, California–‘My daddy bit my eyes and hands. My daddy ate my eyes out.’ Those were the words uttered by 4-year-old Angelo Mendoza Jr. when officers found him, naked and bloody, on the floor in his father’s apartment. The child had numerous bite marks on his hands. And OMFG, his eyes–one of them was missing and one was badly damaged. Neighbors say the child’s father, Angelo Vidal Mendoza Sr., clad in boxers and a sweater, was acting a little ‘off’ on April 28. Ramon Rodriguez said the wheelchair bound Mendoza Sr. wheeled himself into his front yard and asked him to play with him and pet a dog. Rodriguez, probably more than a little freaked out, refused. Mendoza Sr. then got off his wheelchair, dragged himself into the back yard, and picked up an ax.
By the time Rodriguez made it to the back yard, Mendoza Sr. was butt naked and had chained himself to a tree. He took the ax and began hacking away at his leg. ‘He told me to look into the sun and pray with him. I was kinda scared for a minute,’ said Rodriguez. Somehow, Rodriguez managed to disarm Mendoza Sr., nearly getting bit in the process. After witnessing that horror, neighbors went to Mendoza’s apartment to check on little Angelo. Rodriguez was one of the first people to discover the bloodied child. (Good luck getting that image out of your head). Had he known what the man had done to little Angelo, ‘I would’ve just let him cut his leg off.’
Little Angelo’s mother, Desirae, had been to the apartment earlier to deliver a pizza. Her son was screaming, ‘Mommy, mommy, I want to go with you. I’m scared.’ Desirae thought to herself, ‘Should I take him or leave him?’ She left him there…thinking he was safe with his father. She. Left. Him. There.
Let’s have a look at Mendoza Sr.’s priors…he has at least 22 prior criminal court cases, including a no contest plea in April 2006 on misdemeanor willful cruelty to a child, for which he served probation. And yet, he was granted full custody of little Angelo. Interesting.
Little Angelo is now blind. Doctors report that the boy’s left eye and muscle were completely missing. His other eye was mutilated beyond repair. His mother stated that he is being cared for by her sister and is now doing fine.
Angelo Vidal Mendoza Sr., 34, is still recovering from his self-inflicted injuries and is listed in stable condition, unfortunately. It appears he was under the influence of a controlled substance *cough PCP cough* at the time. His bail has been set at $1 million and he’s facing charges of torture, aggravated mayhem, and cruelty to a child. I say, let him have a go with the ax again…maybe this time, he’ll do it right and aim a bit higher.
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