GREENFIELD, Calif. (KION-TV)-- The Monterey County District Attorney's Office said that a Greenfield Police Officer was arrested and charged with felony assault and felony dissuading a witness.
A complaint was filed against Christian Tapia-Leon on June 10, and a warrant for his arrest was issued the same day, according to the Monterey County Court Portal. The DA's office said he was off duty at the time of the alleged incident and the victim was a male.
Tapia-Leon allegedly walked into a home uninvited, went to the backyard of the house hosting a party, and that's where the assault occurred, said the DA's Office. The DA's office said Tapia-Leon did not know the victim.
In a statement given to KION by the Law Office of Steven J. Rease that is representing Officer Tapia they said:
"Mr. Tapia strongly denies the current charges against him by the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office. He is not guilty of these charges. He and his attorney Mr. Steven Rease look forward to aggressively defending him in court and having his good name and reputation restored. As a 6 year veteran of the Greenfield Police Department he takes his oath to uphold the law extremely seriously and would never act in a manner that would violate his oath."
The alleged incident occurred on May 1 at about 9 p.m. in the City of Gonzales, said the DA's office.
The Monterey County District Attorney's Office said an arraignment is scheduled on August 11 at 1:30 p.m. for Tapia-Leone.
Greenfield Police released the following statement
We wanted to make you aware of an incident involving a Greenfield Police Department Officer.
Officer Tapia, a 4-year veteran of the Greenfield Police Department, was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office. Friday, June 10th, an arrest warrant was issued for charges related to assault.
Officer Tapia surrendered himself at the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office to face the charges.
The allegations against Officer Tapia are deeply unsettling. However, we trust and have faith in the judicial system to conduct a thorough investigation, resulting in the appropriate outcome. In the meantime, we will continue to cooperate with the District Attorney’s Office as they proceed with their investigation. Additionally, we have launched our own internal administrative investigation into the matter, consistent with our department’s policies and procedures.
This is an extremely difficult time, not only for our police family, but also for the Greenfield community, and for the involved parties. Rest assured, we remain committed to providing the highest-level of service to you, and we will work tirelessly to continue to provide a sense of safety, security, and transparency to the city of Greenfield.
While we cannot discuss an on-going investigation, we want to address and allay any of your concerns. Feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Respectfully, Acting Chief Guillermo MixerActing Chief Guillermo Mixer