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2 inmates beat Calif. deputy in ‘unprovoked’ attack

The deputy tried to defend himself, but the two inmates pulled him into their cell, officials said

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San Diego Deputy Michael Cascioppo is seen recovering from an inmate attack.

San Diego Sheriff’s Office

By David Hernandez
The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego County sheriff’s deputy was recovering Sunday from injuries he suffered when two inmates at the Vista jail violently attacked him without provocation Saturday afternoon, officials said.

The attack happened about 2 p.m. as Deputy Michael Cascioppo was escorting a nurse in a housing area while medical staff distributed medication and inmates were locked in their cells, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Cascioppo and the unnamed nurse were walking past a cell when one of two inmates inside asked Cascioppo to pass a food tray to inmates in an adjacent cell. When Cascioppo opened the cell door to oblige, the inmates rushed out and began attacking him, kicking and punching him in the head and torso, according to the department.

Cascioppo tried to defend himself, but the two inmates pulled him into their cell and continued the assault until other deputies intervened and detained the inmates.

Cascioppo was able to walk away, but he suffered multiple injuries. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and released Saturday night.

The department released a photo that showed him wearing a neck brace, with a bloodied bandage around his head. His eyes appeared swollen and cuts were visible above his eyebrows. Only part of his face was visible because he was wearing a blue surgical mask.

As he recovered Sunday, Cascioppo’s top concern, according to the department, was the well-being of the nurse. He wanted to make sure she wasn’t hurt. The nurse was able to flee and wasn’t injured, officials said.

According to the department, deputies escort medical staff when they contact inmates. Medical staff distributes medication a few times a day while inmates are locked in their cells as per COVID-19 protocols.

The names of the inmates and other details about their time in jail were not immediately available.

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