SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — An Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy has been charged with two felonies in connection with allegedly filing a false police report under his trainee’s name and forging a victim’s signature, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.
Chat Matthew Renegar, 30, has been charged with one felony count of filing a false police report and one felony count of perjury.READ MORE: Witnesses Describe Chaotic Scene As Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting Unfolds Near U.S. Open Of Surfing
According to the district attorney’s office, Renegar has worked for the department for eight years and was serving in the city of Rancho Santa Margarita as a field training officer for a newly assigned patrol deputy at the time of the alleged crimes.
Renegar and the trainee responded May 16, 2019, to a call from a woman who reported her license plate had been stolen. Despite the woman telling deputies that her license plate had been stolen in Santa Monica — outside of the jurisdiction of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department — the deputies had the woman sign a California Highway Patrol form to report the stolen plate.
A sergeant later rejected the report due to the location of the crime.READ MORE: Funeral Service To Be Held In Covina Hills For Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola Who Was Killed In Afghanistan
Renegar is then accused of instructing the trainee to change the location to Rancho Santa Margarita. When the trainee declined, Renegar allegedly typed a new report under the trainee’s name, filled out a second CHP form with the location changed and forged the victim’s signature.
Renegar has been placed on administrative leave, according to the district attorney’s office.
“Maintaining trust and accountability between law enforcement and the communities they are sworn to protect has never been more important,” O.C. District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. “Dishonesty among the ranks of our law enforcement jeopardizes that trust and it will not be tolerated.”MORE NEWS: Mother, 2-Year-Old Son Fall To Their Deaths At Petco Park In San Diego
Renegar is scheduled to be arraigned March 24 at the Central Justice Center. He faces a maximum sentence of four years and eight months in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the district attorney’s office.