SoCal deputy charged with adding dash of pepper spray to pizza

Aug. 3, 2013 at 12:49 PM

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Prosecutors said they filed a charge against a California deputy sheriff who allegedly seasoned a take-out pizza with pepper spray during a traffic stop.

Orange County Deputy Juan Tavera will be arraigned in Newport Beach Monday on a misdemeanor assault and battery charge for the alleged incident that resulted in five people becoming ill after unwittingly eating the tainted pizza.

The Orange County District Attorney's office said the alleged incident occurred last fall in Laguna Hills, when Tavera and another deputy stopped the alleged victim's car. Tavera allegedly saw a pizza in the back seat and for unknown reasons gave it a blast of irritating pepper spray when no one was looking.

After the teen and a group of friends became sick that night, he reported his suspicion to the sheriff's department, the Los Angeles Times said.

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