The First Bust of 2006

The Miami-Dade Police Department is thrilled to announce the first accused felon of 2006 is a chubby-cheeked, five-foot six-inch 23-year-old from Miami. Just 45 minutes into the new year, Juan Carlos Mendoza, who has brown hair and brown eyes, was delivered to the Miami-Dade County jail. He's healthy and just a tad over 125 pounds.

The year's first arrest was a short and relatively easy one. Ofcrs. Jennifer Wing and John Fedak spotted the youngster firing a 9mm silver and black handgun into the air on the corner of NW Sixth Avenue and Eleventh Street.

Mendoza didn't cry or kick during the bust, police say, but he whined: "I wasn't shooting at anybody, only into the air!" Police got an extra surprise: Mendoza, charged with discharging a firearm in public, was carrying a small canister of marijuana in his front pocket — making him the first misdemeanor of 2006 too. He has pleaded not guilty.


Juan Carlos Mendoza

Computer analysis shows that the Mendoza bust narrowly beat out several public intoxication arrests. The proud officers, Wing and Fedak — though aware the new year had begun — hadn't the faintest idea they had nabbed the first crook of 2006.


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