'Gang' Member Leads Deputies on High-Speed Chase
The Land O' Lakes man was traveling 105 mph on State Road 54 through Wesley Chapel on July 4.
He was clocked going 105 mph in a 55 mph zone late Wednesday night, and after attempting to flee deputies, a Land O' Lakes man authorities say is a member of the Latin Connectz motorcycle gang faces multiple charges.
According to a Pasco County complaint affidavit, deputies saw Carlos Luna Mendez traveling west at a high rate of speed on State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel at about 10:30 p.m. After clocking him at 105 mph, two deputies turned on their lights to pursue, but Mendez gained speed and weaved through traffic to elude them, the report stated.
When a vehicle in front of him braked, Mendez was forced to slow and deputies were able to overtake him, according to the report.
Mendez, 45, had a blue bandana tied to his handlebars "to show his colors" and was wearing a "black leather vest with gang insignia," which indicated that he was a member of the Pasco County Latin Connectz motorcycle gang, the report stated.
After Mendez was placed under arrest, he provided deputies with two Florida driver's licenses. A check showed Mendez's license suspended indefinitely for plethora moving violations, failure to pay ticket fines and a previous fleeing to elude charge, which he is currently on probation for, the report stated.
A check of the tag on the motorcycle showed that it was registered to another man and did not belong on any vehicle, the report stated.
Deputies also noted that the tag was attached to the motorcycle with zip ties, covering two other tags that Mendez "had rigged up" to make it easy to change the tag.
After being placed in the deputy's vehicle, Mendez was observed chewing a "blue pill." When approached, Mendez "spit out a nickel and then swallowed," the report stated.
Post- Miranda, Mendez stated he had consumed a six-pack of Coors Light and and taken Hydrocodone. He provided a breath sample of .136 and .156.