O.C. deputy charged with falsifying police report may have done it another time, attorney claims
A lawyer representing a former homeless veteran who was allegedly beaten and verbally abused by Orange County Sheriff’s MPs believes a MP filed false police reports about the incident.
Attorney Narine Mkrtchyan said deputy Chad Renegar hit her client Jeremy Holloway and then made up the details of the violent episode.
Mkrtchyan believes Holloway’s case is now stronger after Renegar was accused last month of falsifying a separate police report.
“My client was injured and beaten, and then they lied about it, claiming he was violent and refused to obey their orders,” Mkrtchyan said on Monday on the phone. “… My client has suffered serious injuries. I am really glad that we can now use this criminal process to advance my client’s case and receive compensation for his injuries.”
Renegar faces a prison sentence of up to four years and eight months on charges allegedly brought while serving as a training officer at Rancho Santa Margarita in 2019.
According to district attorney spokeswoman Kimberly Edds, Renegar and the deputy he was training at the time responded to a woman who reported that her license plate had been stolen. The woman told Renegar that the license plate was stolen in Santa Monica, which resulted in the first report being rejected by a sergeant because it was outside the jurisdiction of the sheriff’s department, Edds said.
Renegar reportedly told the deputy he was training to relocate to Rancho Santa Margarita, but the apprentice failed to do so, Edds said. Renegar allegedly typed a report under the name of the trainee. He also filled out a second form, changed the location to Rancho Santa Margarita and forged the victim’s name, Edds said.
Edds said Monday that there had been no updates on the case since the announcement. Sheriff’s spokesman Dennis Breckner said Monday that Renegar is on paid leave. He is due to be charged later this month.
Renegar is just the youngest deputy to the Orange County Sheriff under investigation for falsifying police reports. The department has been involved in an evidence booking scandal in which several MPs failed to submit evidence or were late in filing it.
Mkrtchyan, whose company is based in Glendale, said the license plate case in Holloway’s case, in which Renegar was the arrest officer, has significant weight.
Mkrtchyan said Renegar filed false reports with her client about the incident, claiming Holloway provoked the attack by resisting arrest and threatening MPs. Prosecutors have closed the Holloway case, she said.
Holloway’s report – presented in a legal complaint – paints a very different picture.
Holloway’s alleged flogging came in January 2018 when he was approached by MPs in his tent at O’Neill Regional Park in Trabuco Canyon.
The then 41-year-old Holloway was awakened by MPs pursuing a domestic abuse report, the complaint said.
Mkrtchyan said the sheriff’s department received a call from someone who said a woman and a man were involved in the argument, but MPs focused on Holloway, whose only companion was his dog.
Renegar and another deputy ransacked Holloway’s belongings in the tent without his consent, the complaint said. Then the MPs left.
Mkrtchyan said the department then received another call from a woman screaming at the campsite. However, according to a police report, the caller stated that a man was walking around the campsite looking for whoever had called the police.
MPs confronted Holloway, who, according to Mkrtchyan, was on an informal trial for insurance fraud at the time. According to the complaint, Holloway complied with an agent’s order to step away from his tent with his hands up.
“Suddenly and without provocation, at least one defendant slapped Jeremy on the left side of his face and dropped him to the ground,” the complaint said. “Immediately after his fall, delegates sat on him while they choked him and kneeled in the temple, maliciously causing him pain and suffering. While held on the ground, he was shot with a taser about five times.
“As he lay helpless on the floor and was bleeding profusely, he was ruthlessly attacked from all sides and could feel the right side of his face kneeling and his head being kicked several times …”
Holloway had injured ribs and legs, a head injury, profuse bleeding and swollen face, loss of vision, severe back pain and periodic loss of consciousness, the complaint said.
Holloway, who Mkrtchyan said served as a Marine in Iraq, is being treated at a nearby Veterans Affairs hospital in Pennsylvania for vision loss, headaches, back pain and severe emotional distress, the complaint said.
The trial of Holloway is slated to begin in May.
Mkrtchyan said it was “unfortunate” that the sheriff’s department failed to discipline Renegar.
“It’s very interesting, the department doesn’t do anything,” said Mkrtchyan.
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