Griff Jenkins reports from the scene in Elizabeth City, N.C.
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A female Los Angeles County Sheriff’s employee was brutally assaulted Wednesday by a jail inmate who asked her permission to use the restroom before throwing a series of punches, authorities said Friday.
Arnulfo Meza, 29, had his left hand unsecured from his waist chain at the Inmate Reception Center when he repeatedly punched a 54-year-old woman working as a custody assistant, the sheriff’s department said.
Security footage of the incident shows the woman walking over to Meza to hand him toilet paper when he punches her in the head. As she stumbles from the blow, he throws two more punches, causing her to fall on the floor.
While on the floor, Meza throws two more punches, authorities said.
He then calmly walks over to a gurney and the woman calls for assistance. Several sheriff’s deputies respond in seconds and Meza is strapped onto the gurney. Two other inmates were laying on gurneys when the attack occurred.
The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment and remains in stable condition. Meza was taken to a high-security area. He possibly faces assault and hate crime charges, authorities said.
The sheriff’s office did not specify what Meza was initially incarcerated for.
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In a tweet responding to the video, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said deputies often face “difficult situations.”
“Their commitment to duty and willingness to make sacrifices, sometimes the ultimate sacrifice, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Department,” Villanueva wrote.