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Man attacked by citizens during car theft attempt: Police

Dan Morse

A Montgomery County man is being held without bond on attempted carjacking and other charges after police said he tried to steal a Honda Civic from a 78-year-old woman walking with a cane -- an endeavor that got him attacked by several people who were in the area.

Javier Gonzalez-Mena, 27, escaped from the citizens after the alleged Sunday attempt, but was picked up a short time later by police. One telling clue, according to the police: He dropped a house key at the crime scene that fit an apartment door linked to him. Gonzalez-Mena had previously served time for carjacking, and appears to have been on probation at the time of the latest alleged attempt, according to Montgomery Circuit Court records.

The victim, who screamed for help in Spanish, was not injured, a police spokesman said Tuesday.

Gonzalez-Mena. (Montgomery County Police)

Police got involved in the case shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday, when they were called to a parking lot outside a Bestway grocery store on Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring. There, they learned that a suspect approached the woman saying “Give me your keys. I have a knife,” according to police charging documents.

At one point, the victim saw the tip of a kitchen knife inches from her body as she gave the man her keys, according to the charging document. She began walking toward the store screaming for help, according to police.

The suspect got inside the blue Honda as other people came to the victim’s assistance, according to the charging documents. The suspect jumped out of the Honda, dropping a knife and the key, according to the charging documents. The group attacked him, but he was able to get away, according to a police spokesman.

Police said earlier Tuesday the suspect, who upon arrest had swelling around his right eye, could have been injured by the people who aided the woman. But the injury appears to predate the attempted carjacking, according to the charging documents, as the victim noted it in descriptions of the alleged carjacker.

Her description, meanwhile, matched a description police had received about two hours earlier related to a disturbance at an apartment building in Silver Spring. Officers returned to that apartment, and successfully fit the key they'd found in a door. The suspect returned, and was arrested after a short foot chase, police said. Gonzalez-Mena's actual address is in Clarksburg, according to police.

Gonzalez-Mena was charged with attempted carjacking, attempted theft, reckless endangerment, assault, and possession of a dangerous and deadly weapon, and other offenses, police said.

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  |  December 29, 2009; 4:14 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse , Montgomery  
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Tough guy. Didn't expect that. Awww... I feel his pain. How dare citizens do that to him??? Send him back where he came from. Assuming he's illegal. I would say that there is a good chance that he is.

Posted by: uncivil | December 29, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

That part of Silver Spring has a heavy Hispanic pressence, so more than likely the "citizens" who beat the man down were also more than likely, Hispanic.

So, all of you Spanish hater who constantly jump on them can stand up and give yourself a pat on the back....

Posted by: ENJOYA | December 29, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

enjoya, we're not all racist buffoons. I lived in Arizona for three years. the immigrants there are the whites in Old Mexico.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | December 29, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, ENJOYA...we really need to give more props to people who take the law into their own hands. Who needs the 'rule of law' when you have citizenry ready and able to circumvent 'innocent until proven guilty'?

Yes, indeed...that's exactly what we need more of - vigilantee-ism and anarchy. Then all the illegal hispanics can feel oh-so-proud at having turned our neighborhoods into a mirror image of their own failed, rat-hole nations.

Posted by: WilyArmadilla | December 29, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

It's the criminals of all colors/races vs everyone else.

Posted by: uncivil | December 29, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why race entered this conversation because criminals come in all 31 flavors.

I'm glad the people took this guy to task. While police are important it is the people that will make the biggest difference.

Also glad to see the people on that flight beat the stuffing out of the retard trying to blow up the plane.

Posted by: A-Contrario | December 29, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse


It appears that this defendant, Mr. Gozalez-Mena, is no stranger to the criminal justice system. There is a person of the same name, perhaps him (Gonzalez-Mena) who was convicted of a prior Carjacking in Montgomery County Maryland, and who received a sentence of 10 years, with 5 suspended. Further, this person also had a probation violation hearing, earlier this year in which he was found to be in violation.

The system did not fail him, he failed the system. If he is not a citizen, he needs to be deported. If he is a citizen, he needs to be incarcerated.

Posted by: | December 29, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, because of the misguided, birthright rule, there is a chance that Gonzalez-Mena is a citizen. After all, given his bad criminal record, he should have been deported when he first came to the attention of the criminal justice authorities. That he wasn't deported leads me to believe that he is a citizen.

In our fight against illegal immigration, the birthright rule must be changed, to allow automatic citizenship upon birth, only when the birth occurs in America, and both parents are US Citizens.

Posted by: | December 29, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

LMAO...I'd like to know who actually gave him the shiner.

Be great if it was some senior citizen who clocked him.

Catch the bus's a buck 35

Posted by: kahlua87 | December 29, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

No need for police in the Piney Branch area, since the "citizens" who live there are able to fight crime themselves.

Ike Leggett should put this "citizen run" anti-crime program into use in all of the "immigrant" areas of Montgomery County to save the taxpayers lots of money. Hey Ike - Expand this program to Gaithersburg, Germantown, and throughout Silver Spring.

Posted by: postisarag | December 29, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

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