Officers recovering after injuries sustained in three separate incidents at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Several correctional officers were recovering Friday after they were injured by inmates in three separate incidents Thursday at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJDCF).

The first incident occurred Thursday at 11:10 a.m. Inmate William Vera, 51, was being placed in a holding cell after he became upset during his classification hearing. Vera resisted staff and lunged at them from his wheelchair. A scuffle ensued and three officers were injured while they were trying to restrain inmate Vera and from the wheelchair crashing into one of the officers. All three received medical care at a community hospital. One officer suffered a more serious injury to his hand; he is not able to return to work but is expected to recover.

Inmate Vera is serving 42 years to life for second-degree murder with the use of a deadly weapon and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. He was admitted from Tulare County on Nov. 6, 1997.

At 2:35 p.m. the same day, inmate George Beck, 32, began behaving aggressively and refused an officer’s orders to return to his cell. He head butted the officer in his face as he was being escorted to a holding cell. The officer suffered a three-inch gash above his eye. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. He is off work but is expected to recover.

Inmate Beck was admitted from Los Angeles County on Feb. 23, 2005, with a six-year sentence for second-degree robbery. He began serving an 18-year sentence from Los Angeles County in 2007 for rape with force, violence or fear of bodily injury and penetration with force against a victim’s will. In 2008, he was convicted in Imperial County for battery on a non-prisoner.

Thursday night at 5:45 p.m., Inmate Andy Alvarado, 30, refused an officer’s repeated orders to go to the yard. Alvarado shouted several expletives at the officer and then he punched him in the face with his fist. The officer used physical force to stop the attack. Responding staff handcuffed Alvarado and placed him in a holding cell. Alvarado was taken to an outside hospital, treated for minor abrasions, and returned to the prison. The officer suffered redness to his face, abrasions to his arm and pain in his knees; however, he did not seek medical treatment.

Alvarado began serving a 14-year, four-month, sentence from Los Angeles County for carjacking with the use of a deadly weapon and second-degree robbery on March 20, 2012.

In 2013, he was sentenced in Kings County for resisting or deterring an officer with threats or violence. He is also serving a one-year, four month sentence from Los Angeles County for the manufacture, sale or possession of a weapon.

RJDCF officials do not believe the incidents are related. All three incidents are under investigation. The Office of the Inspector General was notified.

RJDCF was opened in July 1987 on approximately 780 acres in San Diego County and employs approximately 1,900 people and provides secure housing for 3,820 minimum-, medium- and high-security inmates. The prison provides offenders academic and vocational education programs, work skills in prison industries and inmate self-help group activities.

Categories: Local San Diego News