CDCR special agent protects, aids attorney following courtroom attack

By OPEC Staff

A CDCR special agent quickly responded to a slashing attack on a defense attorney, allegedly by his defendant, in San Diego Superior Court on Thursday. The agent protected the wounded lawyer while the defendant was subdued and then stopped the bleeding until medical help arrived.

The attack took place in front of the jurors in a criminal trial of three men alleged to be members of the Mexican Mafia prison gang and more than a dozen high school students on a field trip, the San Diego Union reported.

The events unfolded like this, according to media reports and the agent:

“During (Thursday’s) trial, the prosecutor was questioning a correctional officer on the witness stand, when inmate (Eduardo) Macias utilized an inmate-manufactured weapon to slash at his attorney’s face,” said CDCR Special Agent Steven Epperson.

Attorney Warren Burgener attempted to move “backward in his chair” away from Macias, Epperson said, and yelled, “What the —- did you do to me?”

Epperson said he put himself between the defendant and the prosecutor and drew his weapon.

“I immediately grabbed the defense attorney… and pulled him behind me,” the agent said.

After sheriff’s deputies subdued Macias, 32, Epperson tended to Burgener until medical help arrived.

“I evaluated Burgener’s injuries and observed a deep laceration to the right side of his face,” he said. “I applied direct pressure to his wound to stop the bleeding.”

Epperson said deputies found a razor-blade weapon near Macias.

“The razor blade had a make-shift handle, which enabled it to be utilized as a slashing weapon,” Epperson said.

The newspaper reported that Burgener was taken out of the courtroom on a gurney with a bandage wrapped around his head. He was sitting up and talking as the gurney was rolled away.  Later he was listed as stable, and doctors were evaluating his wound to determine the best treatment.

The defendants – Macias, 32; Geronimo Polina, 35; and Lionel Quinteros, 26 – are accused in a prison attack at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, the newspaper reported. They face charges including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon by a prisoner and conspiracy, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

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5 Responses

  1. Roger Reese Monday, December 17, 2012 / 2:49 pm

    If nothing else, at least a small segment of the civilian population got to see what we face every day in prison. Good job!

  2. Ed Corr Friday, December 14, 2012 / 10:17 pm

    Stay down sheepdog! A real hero!

  3. RONALD DUNNE Friday, December 14, 2012 / 8:48 pm

    That was a great move by the Agent to get in between the inmate and the attorney. It probably saved him from recieving multiple lacerations to his face. These are the kind of acts that need to be recognized. In my sixteen years of service I have observed CDCR Peace Officers that go above and beyond every day. Whether it was rioting or assaults in our institutions to taking dangerous parolees off the streets. CDCR Peace Officers have always displayed extreme courage when needed to do so. So keep these kind of articles coming and recognize those who work the toughest beat in the state no matter if that Peace Officer works on the inside or on the streets. After all isn’t our mission is to provide Public Safety. I have to admit with crime on the rise its nice to see the good guys win once in a while.

    • Destry Holmes Friday, December 14, 2012 / 11:13 pm

      I have to completely agree with Ron, the heroic acts of Correctional Peace Officers around the state happen daily, and quite often go unrecognized. Our mission is to provide Public safety, and in this case….Agent Eppersen did what was necessary…a selfless act of protecing the public, by placing himself in the direct path of harms way!

  4. David Yacono Friday, December 14, 2012 / 8:46 pm

    Epperson, Great job, cool and quick, and what Special Agents do when it goes south. This should be a Gold Medal award.

    Dave Yacono, (R) SA

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