Former University of Arizona and NFL kicker turned Tucson restaurant owner Max Zendejas was indicted Tuesday in Pima County Superior Court on damage and theft charges related to his recently closed UA-area restaurant.
The indictment alleges that between March and May 15 Zendejas, 49, "knowingly controlled property of the University of Arizona … with the intent to deprive the University of Arizona of such property" at his restaurant, Zendejas 13, at 1628 E. Sixth St. The property includes a walk-in refrigerator, compressors, ceiling fans and kitchen sinks worth more than $25,000.
The indictment also alleges Zendejas "recklessly defaced or damaged property belonging to the University of Arizona" causing more than $10,000 in damages at the restaurant.
The investigation started in April when Zendejas was evicted from the UA-owned building and UA police officers saw people taking items from the restaurant, said Assistant Attorney General Michael Jette.
The Arizona Attorney General's Office is handling the case because it involves state property.
Zendejas allegedly damaged plumbing in the building, causing raw sewage to leak in or around the building and the need for pipes to be replaced, Jette said.
Zendejas opened the Mexican restaurant and bar across the street from Arizona Stadium in 2010. It closed on April 12.
The UA Police Department would not release police reports citing an open investigation. Other university officials declined to comment because of the court case.
Zendejas played for the UA in the early 1980s followed by one season in the NFL with the Washington Redskins and two with the Green Bay Packers.
He then became involved in restaurants and different family businesses in the Phoenix area.
Zendejas is also a co-owner of the Blue Moon Nightclub, 1901 S. Fourth Ave.
Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 573-4224.