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.