A deputy from Orange County was dismissed this week following his arrest on charges of fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office reported that Deputy Juan Morales-Padilla, aged 44 and hired by the department in September 2022, was apprehended by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office on July 5.
He is accused of evading and eluding a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest without violence.
According to dashcam footage obtained from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, a motorcyclist, identified as Morales-Padilla by deputies, is seen crossing a median and maneuvering around a car.
The deputy activates his patrol lights in an attempt to pull over the motorcyclist, but the individual accelerates away from the deputy.
“It was a poor decision on his part, and it appears that things escalated,” stated Lake County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Fred Jones.
Lake County deputies later took Morales-Padilla into custody at his residence, as revealed by body camera footage.
After inquiring about Morales-Padilla’s occupation in law enforcement, the deputy can be heard saying, “You know better.”
The sheriff’s office promptly terminated Morales-Padilla’s employment.
“These are grave allegations, and I have made it clear that we will not tolerate criminal behavior involving our deputies,” stated Sheriff John Mina. “At the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, we hold our deputies to the highest ethical standards, whether they are on or off duty.”
Channel 9 is currently working on gathering additional information about Morales-Padilla’s arrest. Stay tuned to Eyewitness News for further updates.