LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) - A man who almost killed a Valencia County Sheriff's deputy nine years ago is in trouble again.
Investigators say this week he almost killed someone else.
Peter Mendoza, 29, did time in prison for almost running over a sheriff's deputy in 2004.
Now, he is facing possible federal charges after a shooting that put one man in the hospital.
KRQE was there when Mendoza first showed up to court in 2004 before he was convicted of stealing a truck and then, while using heroin, running from and even running over a Valencia County Sheriff's deputy, Detective Sgt. Donald Derrick.
“When [Mendoza] drove forward, he initially drove forward and struck me,” Derrick said Wednesday. “It spun me around, and I got hung up in the vehicle and … I couldn't hang on. I was stuck. I finally freed my arm at which time I was struck again.”
Derrick described what happened that day.
He suffered internal injuries — broken ribs and hurt his right arm.
Derrick said ever since Mendoza got out of prison he kept getting into trouble for property crimes and drugs.
Now, the Sheriff's Office and Homeland Security investigators have linked him to a shooting along State Road 47 in the Tome district.
It happened Monday morning and sent one man to UNM Hospital with a bullet wound to his arm.
“What concerns me is his level of violence has now increased,” Derrick said.
He said investigators arrested Mendoza on Tuesday night after a string of search warrants turned up five guns, including a stolen one, two bullet-proof vests, 20 grams of heroin and a police scanner — all of it linked to Mendoza.
Derrick said investigators found some of those guns in Mendoza's car, along with his 3-year-old son, when they made the arrest.
“I believe if the child hadn't been with him it probably would've turned out a lot worse for either us and for him,” Derrick said.
Derrick wouldn't say what sparked an argument that led to the shooting Monday, but he said it was an isolated incident.
The Sheriff’s Office said Mendoza now has charges for guns, drugs and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
He is in jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond.
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