Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy, Juan Tavera, 30, is being charged with one misdemeanor count of assault after allegedly spraying a pizza with pepper spray. On September 23, 2012, Tavera was on patrol and stopped a 19 year old teenager for a traffic violation. The teen had a pizza in the back of his vehicle and authorities allege Tavera sprayed the pizza with pepper spray, unbeknownst to the driver.
After the traffic stop, the teen returned home and shared the pizza with four friends. All five of the friends became sick after eating the pizza. The teen notified the OCSD of his suspicions and an investigation ensued.
Tavera is set to be arraigned in Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach on Monday. Currently, Tavera is on PAID administrative leave. If convicted, Tavera faces up to one year in county jail and the likely loss of his job.