Charges: Man threatened to kill wife unless she stopped divorce

Published: Wednesday, June 20 2012 9:52 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A 47-year-old West Valley City man is in jail after police say he held a gun to his wife's head and threatened to kill her unless she stopped divorce proceedings against him.

On Saturday, Jose Luis Cruz-Mendoza went into his wife's bedroom, found her lying on the bed and pointed a gun to her head, according to charges filed Wednesday in 3rd District Court. Police later determined the weapon was an airsoft gun.

"(He) told her to drop the divorce paperwork, or he would kill her," the charges state.

Cruz-Mendoza refused to allow his wife to leave the home and followed her around the home with the gun pointed at her, according to the charges. The woman told him she was ill, and he agreed to let her go to bed.

While in the bedroom, the woman was able to call 911. Police say she then told Cruz-Mendoza she needed to go into the kitchen to get some water to take her medication. While in the kitchen, the woman saw a police officer outside and ran out of the house. Cruz-Mendoza followed the woman outside and was arrested by police.

The man surrendered the gun to police. It was then determined to be an airsoft gun, without a fluorescent tip to identify it as a toy, the charges state.

Cruz-Mendoza was charged with aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, and unlawful detention, a class B misdemeanor. He's being held in the Salt Lake County Jail on $25,000 bail.

Jared Page

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