Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


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

Pepper-spraying mashup (Photo by Louise Macabitas and B. and E. Dudzinscy via Shutterstock)
Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

A sheriff's deputy in Orange County is accused of using a Megyn Kelly-endorsed culinary trick on an unsuspecting teen: spraying pepper spray on a teen's pizza during a traffic stop.

The 19-year-old teen was pulled over for a traffic violation on his way home from picking up a pizza on September 8. After he and his four friends finished the pizza, they complained that they had stomach pains. The teen called authorities to report that there had been something suspicious about his traffic stop, according to the Los Angeles Times.

One OC sheriff's deputy had pulled him over, and later a second deputy Juan Tavera, 30, arrived on scene. The teen accused the deputy of spraying the pizza with pepper spray in his backseat while he wasn't looking. (Perhaps Tavera suspected the pizza of reaching for its waistband or occupying the teen's back seat.)

The OC District Attorney took up the case, while Tavera, a 6-year veteran of the department, was put on administrative leave. Tavera is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday in Newport Beach. He's being charged with one misdemeanor count of assault or battery by a public officer, and he could faced up to a year in jail if he's convicted.