LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11) - A recently reinstated Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy sat down with FOX 11 on Thursday to defend himself against allegations of domestic violence after a video was released that purports to show him breaking into his ex-girlfriend's apartment in 2014.
"I just don't want to stay quiet anymore. I'm not gonna sit back and have somebody smear me or depict me as a monster," said deputy Caren Carl Mondoyan. "It's destroyed my family, scared my child, it's a nightmare ever since the first LA Times article that came out."
Mandoyan was fired by LASD in 2016 after his ex-girlfriend accused him of domestic violence but was recently reinstated by newly elected LASD Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
As part of her effort to get a restraining order, Mandoyan's ex filmed a video of him purportedly trying to break into her apartment in 2014. That video began circulating in the media this week.
"The video, yeah, when you look at what was put out, it does look bad. It does look like I'm attempting to break into a residence," Mandoyan said.
But Mandoyan told FOX 11, it was all just a dispute between a couple that was blown out of proportion.
"Earlier that day we got into a verbal argument, as we have several other times like any couple would, my ex goes inside and she locks me out as she has done before," he said. "We lived there together, my backpack, badge, and service weapon were all inside. I waited for a little bit, then just to get her attention I grabbed the plastic broomstick, I was using the broomstick to tap on the frame of the glass, that didn't work, and she still refused to let me in."
Mandoyan says he then crouched down and used a cable pulley to try to get her attention, and wasn't trying to break in, despite how the video looks.
"The side of the glass that I was on, it was fixed glass, it had no tracks, there's no way you could've used it to get inside," Mandoyan said.
He said his ex eventually let him in a few minutes later, and he provided FOX 11 with text messages he says his ex sent him just hours later, telling him she loved him.
"It was an insignificant event, that's all it was, that's completely blown out of proportion," Mandoyan said.
Prosecutors never charged Mondoyan with any crime, despite the fact he was fired over the allegations of domestic violence and stalking in 2016.
Mandoyan told FOX 11 he served as a deputy sheriff for 17 years with no complaints, and numerous commendations and accolades.
He's happy to be reinstated, and he's ready to move on with his life.
"I just want to have a normal life, I wanna be back, do my job, be a deputy sheriff, retire successfully, provide for my family and just live a normal life," he said.