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Man foils robbery attempt by locking door, calling police

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SALT LAKE CITY — A documented gang member accused of participating in a violent home invasion robbery now faces several felony charges.

Keven Payan Mendoza, 18, of Taylorsville, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, first-degree felonies; possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony; and drug possession, a class B misdemeanor.

On Feb. 25, Mendoza and a 16-year-old boy went to a West Valley apartment and asked for one of the occupants to come outside. When that person walked out, he was confronted by two armed people wearing ski masks, according to charging documents.

The resident was thrown to the ground and “stated he felt one of the guns on the back of his head and he felt a second gun on his thigh,” the charges state.

Mendoza and the teen took the victim’s cellphone and told him to go back into the apartment and bring back drugs, according to the charges, “and stated that they would kill him if he did not return.”

The resident walked back into his apartment, locked the doors and called police using another phone.

Officers arrived just as Mendoza and the teen were leaving. In their car, investigators found a loaded gun and marijuana, the charges state.

Court records do not indicate whether the 16-year-old was also charged.