The State Worker

2 California correctional officers injured in inmate attack at state prison

California Correctional Institution Tehachapi
California Correctional Institution Tehachapi

Two California correctional officers were injured by inmates Monday evening at a state prison southeast of Bakersfield and officials are investigating the assault as an attempted homicide.

Both officers were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries and later released, while both inmates were treated for minor injuries at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi.

The inmates were transferred to solitary confinement following the attack, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Officers recovered an “inmate manufactured weapon” at the scene, the department said.

The inmates — Alfonso Verduzco, 26, of Riverside County, and Christian Rodriguez, 24, of Ventura County — at the California Correctional Institution allegedly attacked the two officers inside one of the facility’s housing units and had to be stopped with “physical force and pepper spray,” according to the corrections department.

The prison houses more than 3,700 minimum-, medium- and high-security inmates.

Verduzco is serving life with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder, while Rodriguez is serving life without the possibility of parole, also for first-degree murder, according to the corrections department.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for the Sacramento Bee. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.