Claimed he was fired upon outside station
A former sheriff’s deputy who falsely claimed that he had been shot outside the Lancaster sheriff’s station has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service and one year of probation and was ordered to pay nearly $543,000 in restitution to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for its massive response to the hoax.
Angel Raul Reinosa — who was a rookie deputy when he reported being shot in 2019 — was found guilty last November of a misdemeanor charge of making a false report of a crime, but acquitted of two felony counts of insurance fraud.
Reinosa, now 24, reported that he was struck in the shoulder while standing in the parking lot of the station in the 500 block of West Lancaster Boulevard on Aug. 21, 2019. The reported ambush triggered the establishment of a massive containment perimeter and an exhaustive, hours-long search of an adjacent four-story apartment complex.
A nearby school was also placed on lockdown as dozens of SWAT deputies descended on the scene via helicopter and armored vehicles. The search of the building and surrounding area continued until roughly 5:30 a.m. the following day.
On Aug. 24, 2019, then-Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced that the shooting report turned out to be a hoax, and said Reinosa was no longer a member of the department.
“As sheriff, I am responsible for my deputies and am embarrassed and incredibly disappointed at what this deputy did,” Villanueva said at the time. “I apologize to our community and our elected officials who rallied in our support.”
Sheriff’s officials told reporters that several things did not add up in Reinosa’s story: No bullets were recovered in the parking lot, no cars were struck by gunfire and many people in the vicinity did not hear any gunshots.