Man wanted for sexual assault of 2 children arrested in Texas

Santurnino Mendez
Santurnino Mendez

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - U.S. Marshals arrested a 30-year-old man who is wanted by the North Charleston police for the alleged sexual assault of two children.

According to the U.S. Marshals office, Santurnino Mendez, 30, was apprehended Wednesday night at a Greyhound bus station in Austin, Texas. Mendez, who is also known as Santurnino Trinidad, was charged by North Charleston police with sexually assaulting two minor children, approximately ages 4 and 5.

The Operation Intercept Fugitive Task Force, headed by the U.S. Marshals in South Carolina, working alongside North Charleston police investigators, were able to ascertain that Mendez had fled the Charleston area to Texas. Investigators alerted their counterparts in Austin.

The U.S. Marshals-led Lone Star Fugitive Task Force initiated surveillance early Wednesday morning to look for a late model red Ford work truck that frequently traveled the area near East Koenig Lane.  Officers observed the truck Wednesday night, verified the identity of Mendez and placed him into custody.

Mendez is awaiting extradition back to Charleston.

"Mr. Mendez thought that by leaving South Carolina he could escape the U.S. Marshals and elude the charges he will now return to face a judge," said Kelvin Washington, U.S. Marshal for the District of South Carolina. "The U.S. Marshal led Operation Intercept Fugitive Task Force here in South Carolina, working with their partnered agencies, work continually until they bring a fugitive to justice. My pledge has always been to apprehend those who prey on our community and I will continue to do so."

Mendez had been wanted by North Charleston police since July.

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