Madeline Schmitt – SANTA FE COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – For the second time, a mother has been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. This time, deputies say, she allowed her 13-year-old son to drive drunk while she was drunk in the backseat.
KRQE News 13 has obtained the lapel and dash cam video from Santa Fe County deputies that shows what happened just before 1 a.m. on August 4.
While headed down Airport Road, the deputy notices an Oldsmobile swerving in and out of lanes. He tries to pull over the car and it takes nearly a full minute before the driver stops, then eventually gets out.
"Get on your knees," the deputy yells to the driver.
A 13-year-old gets out and lays on the ground. The deputy then tells him to crawl to him, like a bear.
Then a 15-year-old gets out of the car and he tells deputies, "I was in the passenger [seat] the whole time. He crawled to the back seat and said for me to take it for him, take the blame and I was like ‘f*** no.'"
In the backseat is 52-year-old Sanjuana Mercado-Mendez. The 13-year-old says she's his mom.
"Abre la puerta!" deputies shout at her, but she doesn't emerge from the car. They have to pull her from the backseat and say she's clearly hammered.
"I know you speak English," one officer says to Mercado-Mendez. "I've taken reports for you at your house."
According to a 2014 criminal complaint, this isn't the first time Mercado-Mendez has involved her son in criminal activity. She was previously arrested for two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor when deputies say she, along with her husband, was caught stealing scrap metal and brought her two sons, the now 13-year-old and a then 17-year-old along to help.
But those charges were dismissed when the deputy failed to show up to court.
Now, she's again charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, along with child abuse and having an open container of alcohol in the car. Mercado-Mendez bonded out of jail less than 24 hours after her arrest.
The 13-year-old is charged with aggravated DWI after blowing a 0.14, open container and several other traffic violations. In the video, he tells a deputy he once got in trouble for smoking weed.
Mercado-Mendez was arrested and convicted of a DWI back in 2006. In that case, she was also charged with child abuse, but that was dismissed.
KRQE News 13 reached out to CYFD to see Mercado-Mendez still has custody of the 13-year-old after this latest incident. We did not get a call back as of Wednesday evening.