The North End restaurant owner accused of shooting at a man outside a popular bakery over the summer will remain behind bars after a judge decided to take time to determine the suspect’s bail status.
The incident allegedly involved a man Mendoza is said to have had a long-simmering relationship with. While no one was injured, Modern sustained damage to its window.
Mendoza, whose family owns Monica’s Trattoria on Prince Street, has been held without bail since late July after he was charged with assault by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery
A judge took Mendoza’s bail status under advisement Tuesday after hearing debate from a prosecutor and his attorney over whether the long-time North End resident should be released.
Assistant District Attorney Daniel Nucci said he has provided a CD of interviews with the man Mendoza is accused of shooting at as well as footage in the area of Modern from that night, along with other evidence.
But Mendoza’s attorney Rosemary Scapicchio argued those “documents,” including police reports, are not enough to determine whether Mendoza even fired a gun at all. She suggested the man he allegedly shot at should have been brought to court as evidence.
“The Commonwealth has not brought anyone, not even a police officer, to talk about hearsay for an identification,” Scapicchio said. “His liberty is at stake right now, and the idea that the Commonwealth can, by document alone, take away someone’s liberty is contrary to the Constitution.”
Nucci, during an arraignment at Boston Municipal Court in July, presented video depicting the scene of the alleged crime, which shows a man “who the Commonwealth alleges is Mr. Mendoza” on a bicycle firing a gun as many as three times toward another man who dove behind a Jeep.
The evidence of the shooting remained for at least a day as “ballistic evidence” — a bullet hole in Modern Pastry’s front window.
Records indicate at least three previous altercations between Mendoza and the other man whose relationship dates back 20 years.
Nucci pointed out the “craziness of this shooting,” with it happening on a busy Hanover Street and on the same day Mendoza’s probation for an assault case involving other man in 2022 expired.
“The Commonwealth contends that alone shows there are no conditions of release where it can say ‘That won’t happen again if Mr. Mendoza is released today, tomorrow, the next day,’” Nucci argued.
Scapicchio asked the judge to set a “reasonable bail” and to release him to the custody of his family on conditions that would “protect the public.” She pointed out how Mendoza’s family and other community members have attended his previous appearances.
“They’ve been here every single court appearance,” Scapicchio said. “He has a tremendous amount of family support, and these are business owners from the community of the North End who come in support of Mr. Mendoza.”
A bullet pierced the window of Modern Pastry, a go-to bakery in the North End, after a shooting this past summer. (Chris Van Buskirk/Boston Herald)