LA cop who got disability pay arrested for lying about martial arts classes, DA says

Officers in a patrol car keep watch in front of the West Los Angeles police station.
Officers in a patrol car keep watch in front of the West Los Angeles police station. AP

A Los Angeles police officer was arrested this week after collecting disability benefits and claiming a job-related injury while he “engaged in activities that were inconsistent with his work-related claims,” according to prosecutors.

A complaint against officer Mario Jacinto, 40, said he “falsely claimed he had not participated in martial arts classes since the date of his injury,” said Paul Eakins, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, in an email to McClatchy on Friday.

Jacinto, a resident of Diamond Bar in eastern Los Angeles County, was arrested Thursday morning on four felony counts of workers’ compensation fraud, as well as one count of attempted perjury under oath, prosecutors said in a news release.

“Jacinto is accused of misrepresenting the extent of his job-related injuries for which he was receiving disability benefits,” prosecutors said.

He’s also accused of doing activities between October 2018 and this January that his stated injury should have precluded.

The complaint said Jacinto “lied about his activities under oath during a deposition,” according to prosecutors.

The date of Jacinto’s injury was May 21, 2018, Eakins said. Details about his injury were not released.

Police said Jacinto posted $50,000 bail and was released Thursday, KTLA reports. Jacinto has been with the department for 16 years and works in the Newton area, according to the TV station.

Prosecutors said the Police Department’s Special Operations Division is still investigating.

If convicted, Jacinto could face up to eight years and eight months in prison, according to prosecutors.

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