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Press Release

Los Angeles Area Man Charged with Assaulting Rangers in Yosemite National Park

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today against Robert Anthony Mendoza Jr., 23, of Pico Rivera, charging him with assaulting a federal officer resulting in bodily injury and assaulting a federal officer with physical contact, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, on July 3, 2022, during the busy Fourth of July holiday weekend in Yosemite National Park, law enforcement rangers responded to a report of a fight in the campground known as Housekeeping Camp. The rangers saw Robert Mendoza Jr. and his father, Robert Mendoza Sr., fighting. As the rangers tried to arrest him, Mendoza Jr. refused to comply, and a violent confrontation ensued. Mendoza Jr. struck one ranger numerous times, resulting in pain, swelling, and bruising to the ranger’s head, jaw and neck. After Mendoza Jr. was finally subdued and placed in a patrol car for transport, he became violent again and slipped out of his restraints. When the rangers stopped to secure him, he began fighting with them and headbutted a second ranger.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Yosemite National Park Service law enforcement officers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurel J. Montoya is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Mendoza Jr. faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for assault on a federal officer resulting in bodily injury and up to eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine for assault on a federal officer with physical contact. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated July 14, 2022

Violent Crime