Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Alleged hit and run at store leads to arrest for robbery, assault

LAKEPORT – Authorities have arrested two people following an alleged hit and run of a Kmart employee who was questioning them in the parking lot about a possible shoplifting incident.


Lakeport Police arrested Brian David Drawdy, 40, of Kelseyville and Gloria Jean Mendez, 46, of Cobb Thursday evening, according to Lt. Brad Rasmussen.


Mendez is being held on a misdemeanor traffic warrant out of Siskiyou County, while Drawdy is charged with felony second degree robbery and felony use of force with great bodily injury likely to result because he allegedly hit a female Kmart employee with his car.


“Our investigation reveals that he intentionally struck her with the vehicle,” Rasmussen said.


Rasmussen said two Lakeport Police units were dispatched to the incident at around 3 p.m. The situation initially was reported as a hit and run of a pedestrian at Kmart on S. Main Street.


As officers were responding they received additional information that the pedestrian actually was a Kmart loss prevention employee and that she had been struck by the vehicle – a blue Toyota hatchback – as it fled the store's parking lot, Rasmussen said.


Rasmussen said the store employee, whose name was not released, had been working alone in loss prevention on Thursday. She obtained surveillance evidence that Drawdy and Mendez allegedly had been concealing items in their clothing before leaving the store without paying for the merchandise, which was worth about $20 total.


The staffer followed Drawdy and Mendez out of the store and into the parking lot, where she contacted them at the vehicle and interviewed them about the merchandise, Rasmussen said.


Mendez and Drawdy gave the store employee conflicting statements about buying the materials. Rasmussen said Mendez got in the car's passenger side, stating she was looking for the receipt, while Drawdy stood outside of the vehicle's passenger side.


When the Kmart staffer walked around the rear of the car toward Drawdy, he jumped into the car and put it into reverse, traveling at a high rate of speed backwards toward the woman, Rasmussen said.


Rasmussen said the Kmart employee was thrown up onto the back of the vehicle, where she stayed while Drawdy kept the car in reverse for another 20 to 30 feet. He then changed direction to take off, and the woman was thrown off the back of the car.


He said the woman was uninjured after being hit by the car and then thrown to the ground.


Rasmussen said witnesses at the scene described the incident in detail, and one of them even followed the vehicle to Kelseyville, where they stopped to report the vehicle to the California Highway Patrol.


A CHP unit located the Toyota traveling up Bottle Rock Road toward Cobb, said Rasmussen. When the CHP officer got behind the car, Drawdy turned onto Harrington Flat Road and drove evasively for a short time before yielding.


Both Mendez and Drawdy remained in the Lake County Jail Thursday night. Bail for Mendez is set at $5,000, while Drawdy is being held on $25,000 bail.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews .

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