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Man accused of baseball-bat attack on deputy pleads not guilty to assault


Last updated 1/12/2019 at 11:24am

VISTA - A man who was shot after he allegedly attacked a sheriff's deputy with a baseball bat in Fallbrook pleaded not guilty on Friday, Jan. 11 to assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer.

Jesus Cirilo Rodriguez, 30, was ordered held in lieu of $250,000 bail. He faces five years in prison if convicted.

The Sheriff's Department said Deputy David Cortez was investigating reports of unprovoked assaults with a bat around 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 21 when he found himself under the same kind of attack, allegedly from Rodriguez.

Cortez -- a deputy since 2011 -- was sitting in an unmarked car in the area of Reche and Ranger roads in Fallbrook when the attack occurred, said sheriff's Lt. Rich Williams.

Deputies had received three reports of unprovoked baseball bat attacks near the area in the last two days and were conducting surveillance, the lieutenant said.

During the surveillance operation, Rodriguez walked up and smashed the window of Cortez's vehicle, shattering glass over the interior and prompting the deputy to open fire in self-defense, Williams alleged.

Rodriguez was shot multiple times but the wounds were not life-threatening, authorities said.

A readiness conference is set for Jan. 22 and a preliminary hearing for Jan. 24.


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