Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy recovering after attack
LAKEWOOD (CNS) – A deputy who was injured in an unprovoked attack at the Lakewood Center mall was recovering and is expected to be transferred soon to a rehabilitation facility, authorities said today.
Deputy Brandon Love, who was identified in a post on the Facebook account of the sheriff’s Lakewood Station, suffered “life-changing” injuries when he was knocked unconscious and then repeatedly kicked in the head Friday, allegedly by a 21-year-old Bell Gardens man, according to a sheriff’s captain.
The suspect, Frankie Estrada, was charged Tuesday with attempted murder, aggravated mayhem, unlawful intercourse with a minor and battery, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Love was one of two deputies who responded about 8 p.m. Friday to a reported boyfriend-girlfriend dispute at the Lakewood Center, Capt. Keith Swensson of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lakewood Station said.
The deputies separated, escorting each of the parties to the parking lot, but while escorting Estrada, Love dropped his keys and when he went to retrieve them, Estrada allegedly hit him in the back of the head, knocking him unconscious, Swensson said.
Estrada allegedly kicked the downed deputy repeatedly in the head until a good Samaritan came to his aid, pushing off the assailant and shielding Love until other deputies arrived and made an arrest, he said.
Estrada remains jailed at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles in lieu of $1.05 million bail and is next due in court in Norwalk on Sept. 4, according to sheriff’s online inmate records.
Love, a senior deputy who has been assigned to the mall for the past six months, was hospitalized in critical but stable condition, Swensson said.
The deputy is married with two young children, he said.
“He is in good spirits and is a true fighter, promising he will walk out of the hospital,” according to the Lakewood Station Facebook post.
Donations to help with the Love family’s expenses during the deputy’s recovery can be sent to the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station, 5130 Clark Avenue, Lakewood, Calif., 90712. Checks can be made out to Brandon Love or the Lakewood Station Fund.