Haverstraw, NY – An upstate New York man was charged with murder after he allegedly drove his car into a family of eight as they stood outside a 7-Eleven store, killing the mother who was pregnant, according to police.
Police said Jason Mendez, 35, intentionally drove into the family after a reported verbal altercation with the father, Sean Deloatch, who asked him not to blow cigarette smoke in the direction of the six children outside the convenience store in Garnerville, a part of Haverstraw, New York.
According to the police complaint, Mendez drove his car across the store parking lot, striking the family, shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday.
“The vehicle struck with such force it continued into the building, heavily damaging the front of the building,” a Haverstraw Police Department press release said Thursday. “The driver then backed up the vehicle and drove forward a second time, striking Deloatch and his family.”
When police arrived on the scene, they found Mendez in his car, brandishing a knife. Police said that after he did not drop the knife despite being ordered repeatedly to do so, officers tased him.
Mendez was charged with second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder as well as menacing, resisting arrest and criminal possession of a weapon at an arraignment Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty to all charges filed against him.
NBC News was unable to immediately determine if he has legal representation at this time.
Melissa Deloatch, 32, Sean Deloatch’s wife and the mother of the couple’s six children, was critically injured and pronounced dead at the hospital, according to police. She was a few weeks pregnant, according to the family.