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Mendoza is Guilty of Grand Larceny

An 18-year-old Falls Church resident is the second person convicted in the Aug. 13 robbery of a 16-year-old Chantilly boy. The guilty party is Romulo Mendoza of 3048 Patrick Henry Drive.

On Oct. 29 in Fairfax County Circuit Court, co-conspirator Elmer Andrade, 18, also of Falls Church, pleaded guilty to the same crime. Andrade is to be sentenced next Friday, Dec. 6. Mendoza's sentencing is set for February.

The incident occurred between midnight and 12:30 a.m. when the victim left a trailer on United Drive in the Chantilly Meadows community. He'd been housesitting for a neighbor and was walking across a parking area on Airline Parkway to see his girlfriend when he was brutally attacked.

According to Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Dennis Fitzpatrick, prosecuting this case, "Five young Hispanic males confronted him — he knew two personally. They begin yelling things at him, including 'MS13' — short for the name of a local gang [Mara Salvatrucha] in Fairfax County. One of them, Mendoza, punches him in the face and breaks his nose. He's knocked to the ground and is kicked numerous times."

The victim received several abrasions, and one of his assailants also took his wallet from his back pocket. The attackers fled by car, and the victim called police and said they could probably be found in Falls Church.

Police spotted their vehicle on Arlington Boulevard near the Seven Corners Shopping Center, and the victim identified all five suspects — Andrade, Mendoza and three 16-year-olds, all of Falls Church. Police arrested them all and charged each with robbery.

Mendoza appeared last Wednesday, Nov. 20, in Circuit Court before Judge Dennis Smith. He was found guilty, and Smith scheduled his sentencing for Feb. 21.