NEW WINDSOR – Newburgh City Police Officer Carlos Mendez was arrested on Wednesday by New Windsor Police following an investigation into a hit-and-run crash.
New Windsor Police said Mendez, 41, of Middletown, crashed into several cars in a parking lot off State Route 300 in New Windsor. No one was injured.
Immediately after receiving a report of the incident, town police located the vehicle driven by Mendez several miles away. He was in possession of substances believed to be illegal drugs.
Mendez identified himself as a police officer and said he was in possession of drugs in his official capacity.
Investigation revealed he did not legally possess the substances as part of his police authority and lab confirmation determined the substances were cocaine and MDMA.
Mendez was charged with felony and misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance, official misconduct, and leaving the scene of a property damage motor vehicle accident.
He was arraigned and released without bail as per state law.
“Every police officer takes an oath of office when they are appointed to their position and when the oath is violated, it falls upon other officers to hold the line and do what is right,” said New Windsor Chief Robert Doss.
Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said it is “always disappointing when there is an allegation that a police officer has engaged in criminal conduct, and even more so when it is alleged that an officer has used his badge to attempt to hide from his crimes. No one is above the law.”