Wake Forest Police offer more context to video of driver’s removal from vehicle during Friday traffic stop

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 6:53am

Wake Forest Police say a video of an officer breaking the window of a vehicle and removing the driver was only part of a Friday afternoon incident that began along the 200 block of Plott Hound Lane and ended along Wait Avenue.

Just after 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16, officers were investigating a reported felony assault by strangulation involving a 15-year-old male suspect and a 14-year-old female victim. As officers attempted to investigate the alleged assault, the male suspect refused to cooperate. A short time later, Maria Del Carmen Rendon, 35, became uncooperative and fled the scene in a vehicle with the suspect and three other juveniles.

As she drove off, Ms. Rendon came close to striking an officer with her vehicle before running a stop sign and nearly colliding with an oncoming tractor trailer. As the vehicle exited the neighborhood, officers initiated a traffic stop, and the vehicle pulled over. 

An officer then repeatedly asked Ms. Rendon to step out of the vehicle. After numerous  refusals by Ms. Rendon, the officer informed her that she had the option to open the door or have her window broken. Due to Ms. Rendon’s continued refusal to exit the vehicle, the officer broke the driver’s side window and removed her.

Ms. Rendon was arrested and charged with Resist, Delay & Obstruct, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, Driving While License Revoked, and Careless and Reckless Driving. The male suspect was also taken into secure custody. 

“While investigating a felony assault, we were forced to react to a situation that was entirely avoidable,” said Police Chief Jeff Leonard. “None of this would have happened had Ms. Rendon not recklessly fled the scene endangering the lives of her young passengers and motorists in the area and had she exited her vehicle when officers repeatedly asked her to do so. Most of our residents offer no resistance during the calls we respond to, but unfortunately in this case we met resistance at every turn from Ms. Rendon and the male suspect.”