Father arrested for DWI after crash that broke his 6-year-old son’s leg

Crash happened around 10:15 p.m. Thursday in 600 block of Hortencia Street

SAN ANTONIOThis article has been updated with new information from SAPD and a woman who says she was involved in the crash.

A man was detained on suspicion of DWI after a crash that injured his son, according to San Antonio police and a woman who says she was in the car.

According to preliminary information from police, the driver of a black Buick turned left from Groff Avenue onto Hortencia Street at around 10:12 p.m. Thursday. A Nissan Altima headed south slammed into the Buick, and a child in the back seat of the Altima suffered unspecified “serious bodily injury.”

Although the preliminary information indicates the driver of the Buick had failed to yield the right of way, it was the Altima’s driver, Rolando Mendoza, 27, who was arrested. Police say Mendoza was evaluated at the scene and was determined to be intoxicated.

He was arrested for DWI with a child under 15, a felony offense. Online court records show he already faces the same charge for another incident in September 2022.

Police at the scene initially said Mendoza had two young children in the car and the other vehicle had a man and woman inside and that there were no injuries.

However, Arianna Lopez told KSAT she was also in the car with Mendoza, her long-time boyfriend, during the crash, and all three of their children, ages 1 through 6, were in the car with them. Lopez was listed in the SAPD report as a passenger and provided a case number.

Mendoza said their 6-year-old son broke his femur during the crash, and she has a fractured tailbone, herself. The other two children were uninjured, she says.

She denied Mendoza had been drunk, saying he had only had one beer that night. However, she said Mendoza is skinny and failed a breathalyzer test.

Court records show Mendoza has made bond and Lopez said he was expected to be released Monday from jail after posting bond.

The San Antonio Police Department, the San Antonio Fire Department and EMS all responded to the call.

About the Authors:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.