LANCASTER – A 27-year-old female deputy is facing criminal charges for allegedly assaulting a man in the back of a patrol vehicle during an arrest in Lancaster two years ago and deleting video of the incident from a family member’s phone, authorities announced.
Nicole Bell is charged with one felony count each of accessing and altering computer data without permission, altering, planting or concealing evidence as a peace officer, and assault by an officer, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
“Tampering or destroying evidence tarnishes law enforcement and creates mistrust among the public,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a news release.
The case was filed for warrant on June 4, and arraignment is expected to be scheduled at a later date.
The charges stem from a incident that occurred July 30, 2019, when Bell responded to a call in Lancaster.
“Bell is accused of assaulting a man while he sat in the back of a patrol vehicle. A family member recorded some of the incident on a cell phone and Bell allegedly deleted the video from the phone,” according to the LADA news release.
Further details on the incident were not immediately available.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.