Numerous LA local news outlets are reporting that two Torrance, CA police officers have been arrested for spray painting a swastika and a smiley face on an impounded car.
Last year, Christopher Tomsic, 29, and Cody Weldin, 28 of the Torrance PD, responded to a call regarding mail theft. The vehicle that was suspected to be involved was impounded. That’s when authorities say the officers did their painting.
The two officers allegedly spray-painted a swastika on the vehicle’s rear seat and a happy face on the front passenger seat, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday. Prosecutors also alleged the pair falsified a document submitted to the California Highway Patrol as part of their investigation by not including information about the vandalism in the report.
It’s not clear how it was discovered that the vandalism was carried out by the two officers, but the case is a result of a Torrance PD internal investigation that was turned over to the the L.A. District attorney’s office four months after the incident. The officers were immediately put on leave when the vandalism was discovered and have since been fired.
A spokesperson for the department said that initially the case was filed as a hate crime, but “ a hate crime enhancement was not filed in the case.” The actions of the officers have caused every case they have had an arrest on to be scrutinized. Tomsic and Weldin have each been charged with one count of felony vandalism and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime.
Hundreds of cases involving the two officers will be reviewed for other potential alleged misconduct, Gascón added, and any potential new misdemeanor crimes would be referred to the Torrance City Attorney.