YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Police cited a Struthers man Wednesday on a firearms charge as part of an investigation into an attack on a motorist by three men riding dirt bikes.
Enoch Mendoza, 24, was cited for a charge of discharging a firearm in city limits, a first-degree misdemeanor, as well as several traffic charges.
Court records show he is expected to be arraigned Friday in municipal court.
Mendoza was arrested as police were investigating an attack on a man who told police he was driving west about 6:25 p.m. on Midlothian Boulevard when three dirt bikes appeared and were weaving in and out of traffic and traveling on their back wheels.
A passenger in the man’s car recorded the bikes, reports said, and one of the bikes hit the man’s passenger side door.
The man pulled into a gas station at the corner of South Avenue and East Midlothian Boulevard and began arguing with the men on the bikes when he was punched in the head and the hand and someone fired off two rounds from a handgun. The bikes then drove away.
A woman who was inside the gas station saw the argument and ran outside to try to calm things down when the shots were fired, reports said. Reports said the gunshots traveled close to her ear, and she ran back inside. No one was injured by the gunfire.
The man in the car declined medical treatment.
An Ohio State Highway Patrol helicopter spotted one of the bikes on East Lucius Avenue and alerted one of the special patrols police that was working with the patrol. The crew in the helicopter alerted police on the ground that they saw the rider on the bike go into the backyard of a home in the 100 block of East Lucius Avenue with his helmet and a bag and place the items on the ground.
Officers went to the home, where they found the bike and Mendoza standing in the front yard. Reports said police found the helmet and bag in the backyard, and inside the bag, police found a loaded 9mm handgun.
Mendoza was charged because he matched the description of a person in the video, reports said. Reports said he refused to answer any questions about the gun.
Lt. Mohammad Awad of the Detective Bureau said the case is still being investigated and additional charges may be filed.