A former Costa Mesa police officer was sentenced to six months in county jail Monday for claiming he injured his hand while transporting a suspect for booking at the city jail and filing a fraudulent insurance claim—only to be undermined when surveillance video showed he did not hurt himself.
Ryan Patrick Natividad, 32, of Corona, had been found guilty by a jury on Feb. 16 of one felony count each of insurance fraud and making a fraudulent statement.
Besides the jail stay, the now-ex Costa Mesa cop must pay restitution and spend three years on formal probation,, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
Natividad had claimed that on Sept. 23, 2014, he struck his hand against a brick wall near the CMPD jail while transporting an arrestee for booking, saying the arrestee stumbled into the wall, prompting the officer to use his hand to prevent the arrestee from striking the wall. Natividad reported that injury to his bosses the same day, filed a fraudulent workers’ compensation insurance claim and was subsequently directed by the department to seek immediate medical attention. He listed a jail employee as a witness to the incident in his injury paperwork.
The employee reviewed the jail surveillance camera footage, determined that the incident Natividad reported never occurred and brought the video footage to his supervisor’s attention. The video was submitted with Natividad’s workers’ compensation insurance claim to the city of Costa Mesa. The city, its insurance company AdminSure and a private investigation firm hired by AdminSure investigated Natividad’s workers’ compensation insurance claim and reported the fraud to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, which investigated the case.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.