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Suspect, 24, Arrested in Carjacking Attempt

August 16, 1993

A would-be carjacker was arrested early Sunday after a botched attempt to steal a newspaper delivery truck in Canoga Park, police said.

Javier Mendoza, 24, of Panorama City was being held Sunday on $40,000 bond at the West Valley Community police station, said Sgt. Dan Mastro of the Los Angeles Police Department.

About 4:20 a.m., Mendoza and several other purported gang members reportedly approached a pickup truck in the 6900 block of Deering Avenue. The driver, who was using the truck to deliver The Times, returned to the vehicle to find Mendoza in the passenger seat.

A fight ensured after the driver sat in the passenger seat. Mendoza brandished a .25-caliber pistol and put it to the face of the driver, who asked not to be identified. A second man in the back seat of the pickup then joined in the fray.

The gun discharged and the driver was grazed in the hand.

After he was disarmed, Mendoza took off his shirt and challenged the driver to a fistfight, witnesses said. Police called to the scene arrested Mendoza.

Authorities are looking for several other gang members who reportedly witnessed the incident.

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