2nd correctional officer attacked by inmate at Sacramento prison

A second correctional officer in less than a week has been attacked and badly injured by a convicted murderer at California State Prison, Sacramento, according to correctional officials.

The latest injury occurred about 5:30 p.m. Saturday when prison staff was trying to conduct a random search of the cell housing convicted murderer Delvin E. Cottingham. Cottingham exited his cell and unexpectedly walked toward an officer.

He then punched the officer in the face, knocking him to the floor, according to a correctional department press release. Cottingham then allegedly straddled the officer’s chest and hit him in the face again.

A second officer came to the rescue and fended off the inmate. The injured officer, an eight-year veteran, was treated at a hospital. He suffered a bone fracture around his left eye, a fracture of both sides of his nasal cavity and abrasions on his forehead, nose, cheeks and eyes that required nine sutures.

Cottingham, 39, was serving a 42-years-to-life sentence for first-degree murder, battery, robbery and being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. He was transferred to a segregation unit.

The attack follows the slashing of another veteran correctional officer Nov. 18. In that incident, the officer, a 15-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, was slashed on his neck.

He was taken to a hospital for treatment, according to a news release from the corrections department.

He allegedly was attacked by inmate Alberto Cortez, 22, in one of the prison’s maximum-security units, the release states. Cortez is serving a 15-years-to-life sentence out of Los Angeles County for attempted first-degree murder and receiving stolen property. He has been in prison since December 2010.

Another inmate who was not identified tried to attack officers who responded to the first assault.

Both incidents are being investigated by the Investigative Services Unit at California State Prison, Sacramento. The prison at Folsom houses inmates serving long sentences or those who have been management problems at other prisons.