Last summer Bruce J. Mundy, a father of two and a two-decade member of the Iowa National Guard was hit while riding his motorcycle and killed by two brothers who had stolen $27 worth of gas from a Casey’s General Store and was leaving the station. Mundy was wearing a helmet.
Police said 25-year-old Santos Rodriguez and his brother, 23-year-old Orlando Rodriguez, stole gasoline from a nearby Casey's General Store. Police said the brothers hit and killed Mundy as they were driving away.
This wasn't Santos first brush with police. Santos Rodriguez was 16-years-old when he shot Officer Jeff Gowen in the chest and Sgt. Garey Bryan in the hand on September 27, 1999. Drugs and guns were found in Rodriguez's car. Both officers survived. Rodriguez was also shot in the incident and lost his leg and suffered brain damage. Polk County prosecutors determined his injuries made Rodriguez incompetent to stand trial in 1999. When he was encountered by the police in 2009, however, he was able to answer questions and was very coherent and knew what was going on.
Well today Polk County District Judge Joel Novak ordered treatment for Orlando Rodriguez, one of two brothers in the vehicle that struck and killed Mundy.
Novak’s order indicates that Rodriguez “poses a danger to the public peace and safety” and “refuses to cooperate with treatment” for an unspecified condition. Rodriguez is to remain in custody and undergo a mental-health evaluation and a hearing is scheduled for Feb. 5 to help decide whether he has recovered enough to stand trial. This is not the brother shot in 1999 and found incompetent! So you mean I can go out and kill somebody and then act crazy (some think I already am) and refuse to cooperate with treatment and I can do as I please?
His 26-year-old brother, Santos, faces similar charges from the Sept. 23 incident but has also asked a mental-health expert to evaluate whether he is fit for trial.
This just makes me so angry that these guys are getting away with it again. Personally I think Judge Novak's competency should be questioned.
In the 1999 incident, Officer Jeffrey Gowen was shot in the chest near his badge. Sgt. Garey Bryan II was shot in the hand. Gowen still has bullet fragments lodged near his spine. Police returned fire during the 1999 clash and hit Santos Rodriguez. A Polk County grand jury cleared Gowen, Bryan and Jason Bennett, an officer who fired 15 shots at Santos Rodriguez in the 1999 shooting, of any wrongdoing. However, in June 2001, Bennett committed suicide. Des Moines Police Spokeswoman Lavorato said, "We'll never know what the reason was, but after something like this, it just builds inside you."