Appeals Decision Remands Case Against Deputy Charged with Filing False Report


The defendant (a deputy sheriff) and his partner responded to an assistance call for the felony stop of a black BMW. One occupant of the BMW had confronted another person, announced gang affiliation and brandished a gun. Upon observing the suspect vehicle, the defendant attempted to initiate a stop. The driver of the BMW sped into a city park parking lot, jumped a curb, sped across grass playing fields and came to a stop in a cul-de-sac. One occupant bailed from the passenger side of the vehicle. The defendant pursued this subject in the patrol car. Other deputies remained with the BMW.  

According to the defendant’s filed police report, the following occurred: 

He followed the subject who had bailed. After a brief time, the subject stopped, turned around and began walking back toward the patrol car. The defendant braked to avoid hitting the subject. While walking, the subject bumped into the patrol car driver’s door. He remained standing and followed commands to be taken into custody. 

Note: A gun battle occurred between the other deputies at the scene of the stop and the remaining BMW occupants. Two deputies were wounded and the remaining two occupants were shot and killed. The defendant reported that he had heard 10 to 15 shots while taking custody of the fleeing subject. 

The fleeing subject claimed that he was “run down” by the patrol car. 

Follow-up investigation located a video feed from a residence across from the scene of contact with the fleeing subject. The video clearly showed the fleeing subject, while running, was struck by the moving patrol unit. He was thrown to the ground, rolled several times, and was lying motionless when he was taken into custody. This video evidence directly contradicted the version of events in the defendant’s report.  

The defendant was charged with 118.1 P.C., filing a false police report, and 149 P.C., assault under color of authority.