Deputy Suffers "Life-Changing" Injuries in Mall Attack

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A deputy was in critical, but stable condition Saturday after allegedly attacked by a 21-year-old man at a mall. Kate Larsen reports from Lakewood for the NBC4 News at 11 on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. (Published Saturday, Aug 16, 2014)

    Authorities arrested a 21-year-old man Saturday on suspicion of attempted murder after a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy was attacked while responding to a domestic disturbance call at a Lakewood mall.

    Deputies responded to the call at the Lakewood Center Mall around 8 p.m. Friday when they came across a woman involved in the incident. One deputy stayed with the woman while another deputy searched for her boyfriend.

    After finding the man, the deputy began to walk him back toward the other deputy and woman. Officials said the man unexpectedly began punching the deputy in the face before knocking him to the ground and kicking him. 

    "Suspect hit the deputy in the back of the head, we believe knocking him out," said Sheriff’s Capt. Keith Swenson. "As he was lying in the pool of blood the suspect continually kicked him to the back of the head."

    A bystander pushed the man off the deputy and backup took the man into custody. Frankie Estrada, 21, was charged with attempted murder on a peace officer. He was being held on $1 million bail and scheduled to be in court Tuesday.

    The deputy was taken to a hospital where he was listed in critical but stable condition. Sheriff's officials said his injuries were non-life-threatening, but described them as "life changing."

    The injured deputy, whose named was not released, has a wife and two young children. Swenson described the deputy as young and athletic.

    “I think the feeling of every deputy in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is if I could happen to him, it could happen to any of us,” Swenson said.

    Estrada had previously been arrested for assaulting another deputy, Swenson said, and was on probation.