Former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Angel Reinosa has been charged with falsely reporting that he had been shot by a sniper while in the parking lot of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station on August 21, 2019, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
At the time it was reported Reinosa’s life was saved because he’d been wearing a bullet-proof vest, and the deflected bullet just grazed his shoulder.
As a result of Reinosa’s report and the alleged gunshot wound, Lancaster Station personnel deployed massive resources to search the surrounding neighborhood for a suspect.
Within a few days, however, investigators learned that Reinosa had completely fabricated the entire incident and there was no sniper, no shots fired and no injury sustained by Reinosa.
Immediately following, the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau launched a criminal investigation.
After detectives determined Reinosa’s account of the incident was a complete lie, the criminal investigation focused on his criminal actions.
A short time later, Reinosa was fired by the Sheriff’s Department.
The investigation was subsequently presented to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of filing criminal charges.
On January 16, the DA’s Office filed three counts against Angel Raul Reinosa and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
The criminal counts include:
* 148.5(a) PC: Filing a False Police Report, a misdemeanor
* 1871.4(a)(1) Insurance Code: Insurance Fraud, a felony
* 1871.4(a)(2) Insurance Code: Insurance Fraud, a felony
These Insurance Code sections are pertaining to the Workman’s Compensation claim.
Armed with the warrant, detectives from the Internal Criminal Investigation Bureau arrested Angel Reinosa for the charges, after a traffic stop in Sylmar at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.
He was transported and booked at the County Jail Inmate Reception Center, where his bail was set at $40,000.
He was scheduled for arraignment on Friday in Department 30 of the LA Superior Court at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, according to the DA.
Deputy District Attorney Byron Beck of the Justice System Integrity Division is prosecuting the case. The case number is BA484557.
If convicted as charged, Reinosa faces a possible maximum sentence of five years and six months in county jail.
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Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva issued a statement on August 25, 2019 after learning that Reinosa’s charge was bogus:
“When the news broke on Wednesday, I dropped everything I was doing to be at Lancaster and check on the welfare of Deputy Reinosa. Like many responding personnel, I spent needless time and energy on something that did not happen.
“Rather than delay reporting what we learned for another day, I felt that it was urgent that we share the truth with the public.
“As Sheriff, I am responsible for my deputies and am embarrassed & incredibly disappointed at what this Deputy did.
“I apologize to our community and our elected officials who rallied in our support.
“During the investigation, we had suspicions concerning the validity of the claimed assault but had to exercise care before accusing an employee of making false statements.
“After investigators were able to establish the facts, we were compelled to share the disappointing truth in our wish to be transparent with the public.
“I will not tolerate any willful misconduct by any one of our employees. Deputy Angel Reinosa’s actions violated the public’s trust.
“Every day, the men and women of this department work hard around the clock to ensure the public’s safety. I do not want the actions of one individual to tarnish our tradition of service.
“Like any subject of an internal investigation, Deputy Reinosa is entitled to due process.
“I will not tolerate anyone who willfully violates their oath of office, makes a false police report, wastes valuable public safety resources, and causes fear in the community. Those who choose to violate the public’s trust will face at minimum termination and potential criminal prosecution.”