Lancaster, CA. – At a news conference on Saturday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced that Deputy Angel Reinosa, 21, admitted to faking the ‘sniper shooting’ he reported on Wednesday. Reinosa even tore his shirt to appear struck by gunfire.
Villanueva wrote in a statement, “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 a potential criminal prosecution.”
Writer’s Note: As a former LASD deputy, I am completely disgusted by the actions of this ‘deputy’ and I hope they book him. This is the last thing we need right now in the law enforcement community. ~ Ray Dietrich