Man Who Threatened Senior, Stole Mail Truck in Coachella, Pleads Guilty

Man Who Threatened Senior, Stole Mail Truck in Coachella, Pleads Guilty

News Staff

A man who stole a postal truck from a mail carrier — who intervened on an attempted assault and carjacking of a senior citizen in Coachella — pleaded guilty to carjacking and assault charges Tuesday.

Hernan Ortega, 33, of Coachella, pleaded guilty to four felonies and two misdemeanors for the Aug. 24, 2016, for the truck theft and the attack on an elderly man in front of the victim’s Coachella home in the 52400 block of Morgan Street.

Sheriff’s deputies said Ortega threatened to hit the man with a metal pipe, then tried to steal the man’s car before a U.S. Postal Service worker intervened. Ortega then stole the postal truck and fled, before abandoning the truck on Avenue 52, near where he was taken into custody, deputies said.

Ortega is slated to be sentenced Aug. 8 after pleading to felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, carjacking and attempted grand theft auto, along with misdemeanor counts of vandalism and providing a false ID to police. He also admitted to sentence enhancing allegations of assaulting an elderly victim and using a weapon to carjack the postal truck.