Prosecutors have filed a felony perjury charge against a rookie Milpitas, California police officer who hit a pole with his patrol car and tried to pass it off as a hit-and-run collision in his official police report.
Milpitas Police Department Officer Victor Madarang, 24, had only been on the job for six months and was still on employment probation when he was fired by the department on Jan. 8, about a month after the car crash.
According to police and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, Madarang was involved in a collision in a shopping center parking lot while on duty in December 2018. He reported that his police car was hit by a motorist who then fled the scene.
But the police department found inconsistencies between Madarang’s report and the minor damage to his patrol vehicle. The investigation was submitted to prosecutors for routine review, CBS Bay Area reports.
Eventually, it was determined that Madarang actually hit a pole in the parking lot, on his own, according to police and prosecutors
A single felony charge of filing a false report, in the capacity of a law-enforcement officer, was filed against Madarang on Jan. 31. A $10,000 arrest warrant was issued. On February 5 Madarang turned himself into the Santa Clara County jail, where he was booked and released.
If convicted, the potential sentence ranges from probation to a year in county jail, or state prison for one, two, or three years, according to the California penal code.
Milpitas police released this statement:
“The Milpitas Police Department would like the community to know the organization looked into this matter promptly. Earning and maintaining the community’s trust is a cornerstone of effective policing. We remain committed to holding ourselves to the highest standards and working with our community to provide professional and responsive services.”