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Sheriff's Deputy Gets Probation For Pepper Spraying Teen's Pizza

Pepper-spraying mashup (Photo by Louise Macabitas and B. and E. Dudzinscy via Shutterstock)
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In one of the more bizarre cases of a cop messing with citizens, an Orange County Sheriff's Deputy was sentenced to community service and probation for pepper spraying a teenager's pizza during a traffic stop.

Juan Tavera, a six-year veteran of the force, was accused of unloading his pepper spray into a pizza that was in the back seat of the teen's car in September of 2012. When the 19-year-old ate the pizza with his friends later that evening, they became sick and their mouths started to burn, NBC 4 reports. Suspicious about what happened during that traffic stop, they contacted the OC Sheriff's Department, which eventually implicated Tavera.

Tavera was initially facing up to a year in jail. He pleaded guilty on Friday and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and a year of probation. He was also let go from the department back in December.

Despite its leniency, the OC Weekly is claiming that Tavera's sentence is one of the harshest ever handed down to an Orange County Sheriff's Deputy. Gotta love our neighbors to the south.

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Sheriff's Deputy Accused Of Pepper-Spraying Teen's Pizza