Haverstraw, Rockland County, NY--A man has been charged with murder after police say he intentionally drove his vehicle into a family of eight standing outside a 7-Eleven in Haverstraw, NY.
Police below an argument between the family and the driver is what caused this incident. The driver has been identified as 35 year old Jason Mendez of Washingtonville.
Melissa Castillo DeLoatch, 32, later died at the hospital. Family members are saying that DeLoatch threw herself in front of a stroller. It has also been reported that she DeLoatch was pregnant with her seventh child.
A 7-Eleven employee said he was outside smoking a cigarette when the father of the children asked Mendez to not smoke around the kids. An argument ensued and Mendez got into his vehicle and plowed into the 7-Eleven which struck all eight family members.
Police say he then reversed and drove forward again, striking the victims a second time.
The father, and three children ages 3,2, and 11 months were seriously injured. Two children remain in pediatric ICU.
The other three children, ages 10, 7, and 5 are also hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
When police arrived on scene, the suspect was inside of his vehicle and armed with a knife.
Police say Mendez refused to drop the knife and was tased on scene.
Mendez is charged with second-degree murder, seven counts of second-degree attempted murder, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.
He has pleaded not guilty.
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