According to the OCDA’s office, at the time of the crime, Tavera was a 6-year veteran of the OCSD assigned to the South Operations Division/Contract City of Laguna Hills. Tavera is currently on paid administrative leave.
On Sept. 8, 2012, Tavera is accused of arriving on-scene after 19-year-old John Doe was pulled over by a different officer for a traffic infraction in Laguna Hills. Upon arriving, the Tavera is accused of finding a pizza on the backseat of the victim's car and pepper spraying the pizza without the victim's knowledge.
John Doe later returned to his home and shared the pizza with four friends, causing all five to experience discomfort as a result of ingesting pepper spray. John Doe notified OCSD after becoming suspicious of his earlier interaction with the deputy.
OCSD investigated the case and forwarded it to the Orange County District Attorney for review.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Brett Brian of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.