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Mother of man charged in shootout, collision speaks about son

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Posted at 10:21 PM, Mar 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 09:01:52-04

Josue Melendez's mother said she feared something was going to happen to her son.

According to Ana Caraballo, Melendez was struggling to find a job, hanging with "the wrong people," and acting out at home.

"He wants to be like every other person, normal. Having a job, working. And he didn't, so obviously spending all his time at home, he chose the street instead of doing something productive with his life," said Caraballo.

On Sunday, Melendez and six other people were arrested after a shooting and head-on crash near 77th and Lisbon.

A doorbell camera captured the shocking moment. Melendez, 18, has been identified by court officials as the person hanging out of a car window shooting at another car.

Melendez made his first court appearance on Saturday morning. He's been charged with endangering public safety for firing a gun at a car and people.

Melendez said nothing during his court appearance. His public defender asked for $500 bail.

But the commissioner in the hearing denied the request and set bond at $25,000.

"Everything I read in this complaint is what I would describe as out of control and incredibly dangerous behavior," said Commisioner Katharine Kucharski. "You do not appear to be somebody who has any intention to follow rules and or general constraints of safety and appropriate behavior."

Caraballo said the family will not be able to post bail.

She told TMJ4 News, in an exclusive interview, that her son has a learning disability and was in special education courses. She said he's unable to remember their home address.

Caraballo said Melendez tried to drop out, but their family rallied around him and last June he graduated from Alexander Hamilton High School.

He worked odd construction jobs, she said, but employers took advantage of his disability and didn't pay him.

According to the court, he takes SSRIs (antidepressants) to manage a cognitive disorder.

Caraballo said Melendez had planned to meet his girlfriend for a date last Sunday. He never met her because he'd been arrested. Caraballo said her son has multiple injuries from the crash, including an injury that required surgery on his stomach.

Another man arrested Sunday, Trevon Galmore, is Melendez's co-defendant in the case. Galmore has been charged with felony possession of a firearm. His bond was set at $15,000.

Both men are scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on April 4th.

Caraballo said her son has acknowledged what he did was wrong and will face his punishment — up to 12.5 years in prison and a fine of no more that $25,000 if convicted. He has no prior convictions.

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