When police officers began looking for the cop responsible for refusing to perform CPR on Briana Ojeda, and keeping her mother from taking her to the hospital, at least three witnesses say the officer in question had a full head of hair. But when police tracked down Alfonso Mendez of the 84th precinct four days later, his head was shaved. Bonita Zelman, lawyer for the family of Briana Ojeda, told the Daily News, "We think there was an attempt to alter his appearance...Don't you think that's an admission of guilt?"
Mendez was suspended for thirty days without pay for "failing to take proper police action," and will most likely face departmental charges. Briana's mother, Carmen, claims she was driving down a one-way street in an effort to rush to Long Island University Hospital from a playground in Carroll Gardens, and hit a parked car. Mendez approached her and refused to let her continue, despite her protests that Briana needed a doctor. When she asked him to perform CPR on Briana, he allegedly "smirked" and said he didn't know CPR.
NYPD officers are taught CPR in police academy, though since Mendez is a five-year veteran, it is likely his CPR certification had expired. However, witnesses say it was his attitude that made the situation worse. One witness said of a recent photo of Mendez, "He went from hair to bare. He still has that smirk on his face."