A deputy suffered injuries that were described as "life changing" after being violently attacked on Friday night during a domestic disturbance call at the Lakewood Center Mall, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
The incident began when deputies responded to a domestic dispute between a boyfriend and girlfriend around 8 p.m. at 500 Lakewood Center Mall (map), according to the department.
Deputies were able to separate the pair and took them outside the mall. At some point, however, witnesses reported that the man began to violently beat the deputy who escorted him out after the official dropped a set of keys and bent over to pick them up.
The man hit the deputy in the head and then repeatedly kicked him as he was down on the ground, witnesses said.
“It was an absolutely violent attack that was unprovoked," Capt. Keith Swensson with the Sheriff's Department said on Saturday. "There was no reason for it to happen.”
A good Samaritan was able to stop the beating, and was being credited with saving the man's life.
Other deputies at the scene stepped in and detained the suspect, who was identified as 21-year-old Frankie Estrada, according to the Sheriff's Department.
Estrada was taken to the Lakewood Sheriff's Station and booked on suspicion of attempted murder. He was being held on $1 million bail.
The deputy was transported to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, LASD Deputy Jeff Gordon said.
He was in critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery, and was expected to survive.
“While the injuries that he has right now aren’t life-threatening, they’re going to be life-changing. They’re very significant injuries," Swensson said.
While the department hasn't released the deputy's name yet, a card on a floral arrangement sent to the Lakewood Station where he worked was addressed to a "Deputy Love."