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Deputy Gets Probation for Pepper-Spraying a Pizza

The incident happened in South Orange County in 2012 The partakers in the altered pie reported experiencing discomfort in consuming it.

A Orange County Sheriff's deputy assigned to Laguna Hills received a sentence of one year probation for pepper-spraying a pizza. Patch file photo.
A Orange County Sheriff's deputy assigned to Laguna Hills received a sentence of one year probation for pepper-spraying a pizza. Patch file photo.

An Orange County sheriff's deputy was sentenced today to one year of informal probation and 100 hours of community service for pepper spraying a 19-year-old man's pizza during a routine traffic stop.

Juan Tavera, 30, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of assault or battery by a public officer.

The six-year veteran of the OCSD was assigned to the Laguna Hills area when he showed up Sept. 8, 2012, at a traffic stop by another deputy of a 19-year-old man, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.

During the traffic stop, Tavera saw that the man had a pizza in the backseat, and while the motorist was not looking, Tavera pepper-sprayed the food.

The man went home and shared the pizza with four friends. They all felt some discomfort from eating the pepper, and the man called sheriff's deputies to raise suspicions about Tavera, according to prosecutors.

--City News Service

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