A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy is facing three felony counts, including assault and altering evidence, in connection with an arrest in Lancaster nearly two years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Nicole Bell, 27, was charged last Friday with one count each of assault by a peace officer, accessing and altering computer data without permission and altering, planting or concealing evidence as a peace officer.
Bell is accused of assaulting a man while he sat in the back of a patrol vehicle on July 30, 2019, and then deleting video from a cell phone in which a family member had recorded some of the alleged encounter, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
“Tampering or destroying evidence tarnishes law enforcement and creates mistrust among the public,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement announcing the charges.
The case marks the third to be filed by the District Attorney’s Office against a sheriff’s deputy within about two weeks.
Daniel Manuel Auner was charged May 26 with murder and reckless driving for an off-duty crash in Torrance last summer that killed his 23-year-old passenger, Ashley Wells, and seriously injured two other passengers. He is set to be arraigned Friday at the Torrance courthouse.
Kevin Honea, 33, was charged the following day with a felony count of perjury for allegedly lying about finding a gun in a vehicle parked at a Gardena motel in May 2019. He pleaded not guilty and is awaiting a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to allow the case against him to proceed to trial.