A Los Angeles County sheriff's custody assistant has been released from treatment for injuries she suffered after being taken hostage by a man she was booking into jail last week, officials said Monday.
The woman was hospitalized with a broken eye socket, broken nose and a concussion after she was assaulted and dragged into a jail cell by a suspect she was booking at the Lakewood Station last Friday afternoon, Aug. 10, according to the Sheriff's Department.
The custody assistant, who officials have not identified, was at home recovering Monday following her release.
The suspect is accused of attacking her while she was booking him on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle. Authorities have not released the man's name, describing him only as a 26-year-old Pacific Islander.
The man was being fingerprinted when he suddenly became aggressive and violent, Detective John Corina said Friday.
The woman, just under 5 feet tall, was knocked to the ground after being struck by the significantly larger suspect, according to the detective.
After that, the man allegedly tried to gain control of her stun gun. During that struggle, the employee was able to hit an emergency switch.
"He sees that, he grabs her by the hair and starts dragging her across the floor," Corina said. "He's got the Taser in one hand, he's got her by the hair in the other — drags her across the floor and into the holding cell."
The suspect allegedly closed the cell, locking both inside. Corina said the man demanded the custody assistant's keys, but even with keys it's impossible to unlock the cell from the inside.
By that time, a watch commander and several deputies had noticed the assault occurring on a security monitor and rushed into the jail area to rescue the woman.
"(The suspect has) got her by the hair, holding her on the ground," Corina described. "He's got the Taser, he's pointing it at her and the deputies."
The deputies first tried to neutralize the man with pepper spray, the detective said, but when that was unsuccessful they decided to use lethal force.
"The watch commander's concern here was that he could snap her neck or kill her at any time," according to Corina.
The deputies shot the man in the arm and in his chest but were still unable to handcuff him until a stun gun was again used.
The suspect was left in critical condition. On Monday, he remained hospitalized and was in stable condition, sheriff's officials said.