An Orange County sheriff's deputy is facing charges of pepper-spraying a teenager's pizza during a traffic stop, prosecutors said today.
Juan Tavera, 30, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on a misdemeanor count of assault or battery by a public officer.
The six-year veteran, who was assigned to the Laguna Hills area and is on paid administrative leave, faces up to a year in jail if he is convicted at trial.
Tavera showed up at a traffic stop by another deputy of a 19-year-old man Sept. 8 in Laguna Hills, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
During the traffic stop, Tavera saw the teen had a pizza in the backseat, and while the motorist was not looking, Tavera allegedly pepper- sprayed the food, according to prosecutors.
The teen went home and shared the pizza with four friends, prosecutors said. They all felt some discomfort from eating the pepper, prosecutors said.
The teen called sheriff's deputies to raise suspicions about Tavera, according to prosecutors.
- City News Service