FULLERTON (CBS/AP) — A former police officer in Fullerton is accused of crushing his audio recorder and destroying any comments made in the arrest of a suspected drunken driver who later committed suicide in jail.
Prosecutors said Tuesday that Vincent Mater was charged with destruction of evidence and vandalism.
The Fullerton officer arrested Dean Gochenour during an April 2011 traffic stop upon determining he was driving under the influence. That night, Gochenour hanged himself.
Mater was placed on administrative leave in June and later quit. He was not found criminally responsible in the death.
Fullerton police made headlines last year when some officers were accused of excessive force in the arrest of a mentally ill man who died from his injuries.
According to the LA Times, Mater told investigators there was nothing on the audio recording he “would not want others to hear.”
The officer claims he flung the recording device against a metal door out of frustration over difficulties in downloading the audio.
It was not immediately clear if Mater has an attorney.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)