Correctional Training Facility
Correctional Training Facility in Soledad (CDCR/Contributed)

SOLEDAD — Correctional Training Facility (CTF) Investigative Services Unit is investigating the death of an inmate who died after he attacked correctional officers during an altercation.

On March 21, at about 11 a.m., officers were releasing inmates from their cells when 61-year-old inmate Joseph Altamirano “yelled at and then struck an officer with his fist,” according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in a news release.

Joseph Altamirano

The officer then struck Altamirano, who fell to the ground and attempted to reengage. 

“Staff activated their personal alarm devices, gave verbal orders to ‘get down’ and then used pepper spray when Altamirano continued to try to assault an officer,” stated CDCR. “Officers held Altamirano to the ground and put him in restraints to stop the attack.”

Shortly after, Altamirano began having difficulty breathing. Staff immediately began life-saving measures and transported him via ambulance to an outside medical facility. He was pronounced dead at 12:36 p.m. by a hospital doctor.

“During the incident, Altamirano attacked one staff member,” CDCR said. “The assaulted staff member was evaluated and treated at CTF. Additionally, two responding staff members were transported to outside medical facilities.”

Both staff members have since been treated and released from the hospital.

Altamirano was most recently admitted from Santa Clara County on Nov. 24, 2003, to serve life with the possibility of parole for attempted carjacking and attempted kidnapping as a third-striker, with enhancements for prior felony convictions of a serious offense.

Officials have limited movement where the incident happened to facilitate the investigation.

“The Office of the Inspector General, the Office of Internal Affairs and CDCR’s Deadly Force Investigation Team were notified,” CDCR said. “The Coroner’s Division of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office will determine Altamirano’s cause of death.”

CTF, located in Soledad, houses minimum- and medium-security male inmates. The prison currently has more than 4,000 inmates and employs 1,189 staff.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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