A former Santa Clarita Valley news stringer pleaded no contest in court on Friday to charges that he made multiple false reports to the Los Angeles County Fire Department regarding fabricated emergency situations.
Jose Trejo, 19, was arrested in January of this year. Detective David Nisenoff of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said Trejo’s anonymous calls included false reports of brush fires, significant traffic collisions with people trapped in overturned vehicles, each one resulting in personnel from the Fire Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and AMR being called to the scene.
“Mr. Trejo pleaded no contest on Friday before Superior Court Judge Gary Micon to three misdemeanor counts of false reporting of an emergency,” wrote the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in an email to The Signal.
Trejo was sentenced to 12 months of summary probation. He must pay the following: A fine of $1,000, a state penalty fund assessment of $2,900, a criminal fine surcharge of $200, a criminal conviction assessment of $30 and an operation assessment of $40 or serve eight days in county jail. “In lieu of the fine, he may perform eight days of community labor,” wrote the L.A. County District Attorney’s office.
He was additionally ordered to pay $150 in restitution to the court, enroll and complete 26 weekly therapy sessions through a licensed provider and an additional 16 weeks of behavioral modification counseling and was ordered to stay away from all emergency services unless in need of such services.
Trejo had been covering news as an independent contractor for What’s Up SCV, which released a statement via Twitter on Jan. 18 saying that Trejo’s actions went against the company’s morals.
“No, we do not condone that type of behavior,” wrote What’s Up SCV on Twitter. “We work as closely as we can with all first responders. Hearing what he did upset us deeply. This is not what this platform was created for.”