HICKORY, N.C. — A former Statesville police officer is accused of crashing his patrol car in Hickory and then filing a false police report on New Years Day.
Hickory Police told NBC Charlotte officers are currently looking for Christopher Rivera to serve him an arrest warrant for misdemeanor filing a false police report.
According to court documents, Rivera told police he was celebrating the new year, while off-duty, at a Hickory apartment complex when he went outside to his unmarked patrol car.
Investigators said Rivera told them, "he was struck in the face with an unknown object by an unknown subject."
Officers said Rivera claimed the person then stole his patrol car.
During the initial interview, court documents said Rivera appeared intoxicated, and he had mud on his boots.
Later that morning, Highway Patrol found Rivera's squad car abandoned at the intersection of River Road and Sandy Ford Road.
Troopers said the driver of the squad car drove off River Road, flew down an embankment, and crashed into a tree.
Court documents said when Hickory officers arrived, the ground around the car was wet and muddy.
The court documents said investigators also found boot prints in the mud that were consistent with the boots Rivera wore during his initial interview.
Investigators said evidence at the crash scene and the apartment complex indicate Rivera crashed the squad car and then filed a false report.
Statesville Police confirmed to NBC Charlotte Rivera last served on its narcotics unit, but he retired during the investigation.
The department said it's launched an administrative investigation into the incident.