Mother key to capture of East Naples manhunt suspect

Published: Updated:
Jorge Jimenez

EAST NAPLES, Fla. A mother’s tough love led Collier County Sheriff’s deputies to a man they’d been seeking for nearly five days.

Jorge Jimenez, 19, was arrested Wednesday after deputies confronted him at the home on 25 Covey Lane where he lives with his mother, who told the sheriff’s office he would be there.

“I was put in a position that i wouldn’t like anybody to be in,” said Vickie Mendez, whose son faces a charge of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer as well as multiple other related charges after shooting at deputies Friday night.

The sheriff’s office used a helicopter, a drone, dogs and a SWAT team in an effort to find Jimenez. But a simple exchange via Instagram proved all that was necessary to reel him in.

Mendez messaged back and forth with her son and convinced him the coast was clear for him to come home and take a shower.

“He was [asking] me, ‘The cops are there? And i’m like no they’re not here,” Mendez recalled. “He said, ‘Mom, you made a promise, and I said, ‘I know I did.'”

Jimenez showed up but turned and ran when he saw the deputies. But unlike Friday night, when he allegedly opened fire as deputies chased him after he fled from a domestic dispute with Mendez and his sister, he didn’t get too far. He was captured just a few doors down.

No one was injured when Jimenez fired his weapon, which was recovered during the search. But Mendez, who said she cooperated with deputies from Day 1, worries that if anyone tries to pull off something similar, someone will get hurt.

“That’s my son. I love him,” Mendez said. “Today it’s my son, but tomorrow who knows? It could be somebody else because these young kids, they don’t think before they do things.”

Mendez doesn’t know why her son would do something like this. But she’s confident he’ll know better in the future.

“Yes, i know he’ll learn from this,” she said.

Jimenez, who remains in custody following a court appearance Thursday, will most likely face additional charges of burglary in connection to several nearby homes that were broken into before he went on the run, deputies said.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.