Benjamin Mena Arrested after Vehicle Plows into Rancho Cordova Apartment
RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (August 8, 2018) – Three children sustained injuries after a man and woman evading police crashed their car into a Rancho Cordova apartment, causing a fire that damaged several units in the complex on Saturday, August 4.
According to Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District spokesman Capt. Chris Vestal, the victims – ages 2, 4 and 7 – were inside the apartment when the car drove through, but he said they only sustained minor injuries. Officials on scene stated that the children and their mother were able to get out of the apartment with the help of neighbors before the fire spread.
The two people inside the car were also hurt, according to Sgt. Shaun Hampton, spokesman for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. After the car plowed into the apartment, both suspects escaped on foot.
In total, five people were taken to the hospital, Hampton stated. Another officer on scene said the children’s pet rabbit died.
The driver, identified as 21-year-old Benjamin Mena, of Roseville, was found on the 2100 block of Zinfandel and arrested on suspicion of eluding a police officer and possession of methamphetamine. He is being held without bail. The passenger was released after undergoing medical treatment.
At about 10:20 a.m. Saturday, Hampton said crime-suppression officers in an unmarked vehicle were waiting behind a black Dodge Challenger stopped at a red light at White Rock Road and Zinfandel Drive when the driver of the Challenger started driving and running the light. Officers trailed northbound on Zinfandel but quickly lost sight of the vehicle at Highway 50 and began to canvass along Folsom Boulevard.
Minutes later, residents waved down officers after the vehicle slammed into the Vintage Fair Apartments on the 11100 block of Hirschfeld Way, entering one unit on the first floor of the complex, igniting a fire.
The fire spread to at least 12 units before it was extinguished, Vestal said. Footage from the scene displayed extensive damage to the apartment that the car crashed through, as well as the unit directly above.
Hampton said that the investigation is still ongoing.
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