9NEWS reporter's very raw video shows him stopping an assault – and now he wants to find the suspect

Now, Jeremy Jojola wants to find the suspect.

Usually, a YouTube video of a reporter spotted dropping an “f-bomb” on camera is not something their station wants out there.

For 9Wants to Know reporter Jeremy Jojola, this case was a little bit different. First off, it wasn’t posted by some random person on the internet – instead, he put it out there himself. And more importantly, it’s so he can track down someone we can all agree is a pretty bad guy (and, as you’ll see shortly, Jeremy’s language here is very warranted – although he admits he acted “a bit douchey”).

We’ll let Jeremy explain the backstory (this is an excerpt from his personal blog – you can read the whole thing and check out his other posts here: http://bit.ly/2oytzfH):

Last June I was walking my dog at Commons Park when I saw a guy place a young woman in a headlock. He began throwing her around inside a brick structure at Commons Park.

There was nobody around seeing this and I felt compelled to stop the attack out of fear things would get far worse.

Video is the best witness, especially in situations when someone may be doing something wrong, so I began to record as I ran towards the direction of the attack.

As you’ll see in the video, [the suspect, Simplicio] Mendez-Santos was on top of the woman choking her as I ran up and started yelling.

The young woman escaped and after some heated words were exchanged, he spat on me.

Police responded and arrested Mendez-Santos. They took my video as evidence and filed a case against him.

Mendez-Santos is currently wanted on the misdemeanor warrant for this assault case because he failed to appear for a court hearing.

That’s right: the guy in the video is still wanted – and Jeremy says the 19-year-old was arrested again for a misdemeanor assault in Adams County after the choking incident occurred (he was convicted for that one – and was also arrested in 2015 for failing to appear in court for another case).

Jeremy says he “very much would like to see this guy answer for his crime” – and that’s why he decided to post the video a year later.

Since then, the video and the blog have gotten quite a bit of attention. On YouTube, it’s been viewed 74,804 times as of around 8 a.m. on Friday.

“Most of the reaction, especially on Reddit, has been overwhelmingly positive,” Jeremy said when I emailed him about this at around 7:10 a.m. (yup – he was cool enough to answer a work email that early -- so he gets public props).  

Reddit’s a different community than other social networks, though. After a guy with quite a few followers posted it on Facebook, Jeremy says it was a little bit different.

“There are some people on his page who feel I should have punched the guy,” Jeremy said. “I got private messages from dudes calling me a p**** and other direct messages from people thanking me.”

Ask anyone who has ever posted anything online, and one thing they can agree on is sometimes you can’t guess what will go viral and what won’t. In this case, Jeremy didn’t expect to get too much attention since he describes the video as “just a bunch of yelling.”

Instead, he says he really just wanted to get the video out there, since he had recently learned Mendez-Santos is still wanted.

“It’s not my intent to gain anything from this story,” Jeremy wrote in an email. “Over the years, I’ve learned people respect moments when journalists reveal authentic moments in our lives and this moment is certainly something that was raw. I was even a bit surprised myself.”

As for some of the language in the video that has gotten him some attention? 

“As TV journalists, we are engrained with the thought to never curse around a camera because of potential FCC violations, which is partly why I was reluctant to share this when this first happened,” he said.

But, as Jeremy said in his blog, “video is the best witness.” And he’s hoping he can do his part to track this guy down.

You can watch the video in question below. As we’ve said above, it contains language that may be considered offensive to some viewers. Discretion is advised.

Can’t see the video? Click here: https://youtu.be/5lKRQujwD9k

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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