INDIANAPOLIS — Court documents reveal a man responsible for stealing a truck with an infant inside that kicked off a city-wide search had already had a warrant for his arrest before he went on his latest crime spree.
Gonzalo Mondragon, 36, was arrested and officially charged with criminal confinement, resisting arrest, auto theft and being a habitual traffic violator.
Mondragon is accused of not only stealing a truck with an infant inside, but also of fleeing from police and attempting to ditch the stolen vehicle and slip by officers on foot.
According to previous reports, a 2006 red Nissan pickup truck was stolen from outside a Shell gas station located on N. Emerson Avenue on Sept. 20 at approximately 10:20 a.m.
Court documents reveal a mother had left her one-year-old son inside the still-running pickup truck while she ran into the gas station to make a purchase. She had parked at a gas pump located near an exit to 34th Street. As the mother exited the gas station, she saw a man enter her truck who peeled off in the vehicle and fled westbound on 34th.
Once learning a one-year-old boy was in the vehicle, officers sent out an all channels broadcast to be on the lookout for the Nissan Frontier along with alerting the news media. A photo was released showing a woman purchasing an item from the Shell station. The woman was named a person of interest.
Nearly two hours after the truck was stolen, at approximately 12:02 p.m., the one-year-old boy — still in his car seat — was found sitting on the steps of a construction trailer. A worker heard a vehicle peel away on the gravel but had only caught a glimpse of the man who dropped off the child.
Court documents reveal that several hours later, at 6:35 p.m., an officer was finishing up a crash investigation on N. Rural Street when he spotted a red Nissan Frontier driving by. The officer attempted to pull over the vehicle, knowing it matched the description of the stolen pickup. but ended up having to call off the pursuit due to the Nissan driving recklessly to avoid pursuing police cruisers.
However, only three to five minutes after terminating the pursuit, the officer spotted the Nissan parked in an empty parking lot on E. 25th Street. The vehicle was still running and unlocked with the windshield wipers active but no one was inside.
Mondragon ended up being nabbed by police almost a mile away on E. 28th Street after an officer responding to the area spotted Mondragon, who matched a suspect description given by the pursuing officers.
The suspect was identified as Gonzalo Mondragon Jr. who was found to be a habitual traffic violator for life and had an active warrant in Marion County for OWI. Before being arrested, Mondragon told police he’d ingested meth. He was taken to a hospital to be evaluated.
Clearing her name
According to court documents, the woman featured in the photo released by police ended up contacting authorities after discovering she’d been connected to the vehicle theft and missing child. The woman told police she’d know the suspect, Mondragon, whom she knew as “Chalo.”
The woman told police she’d been driving Mondragon and another man in her 2011 Chevy Equinox after leaving a party. After stopping in the gas station, the woman told police she went inside to purchase ice for her dog — a German Shepard who was also in the vehicle — and that when she came back out she heard Mondragon and the other passenger discussing how the red Nissan was running and unoccupied.
As she began to leave after providing water to her dog, the woman told police that Mondragon exited the Chevy after shouting “Stop! This truck is running!” He casually walked to the truck, entered, and drove away. The woman told police as she drove away the passenger was “rubber necking” and told her that a woman was chasing after the Nissan that Mondragon had just stolen.
Court documents revealed the woman reached out to detectives at 4 a.m. on Sept. 21 after she woke up and saw her photo in the news. She reached out to police wanting to clear her name, the documents state.
If found guilty, Mondragon could face one to six years in prison for his Felony 5 charge of criminal confinement. Mondragon could face further time for being a habitual offender, along with his other counts.