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Bell Gardens Man Charged With Attacking Deputy

A man accused of attacking a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who had responded to a report of a domestic violence dispute at Lakewood Center mall was charged Tuesday with attempted murder and other counts.

Frankie Estrada, 21, of Bell Gardens was also charged with aggravated mayhem and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, along with a misdemeanor count of battery, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Estrada was arrested around 8 p.m. Friday after two deputies responded to the mall on a report of a dispute between a man and his girlfriend.

Sheriff’s Capt. Keith Swensson said the deputies contacted Estrada and the woman and were escorting them separately to the parking lot to be questioned. Neither had been taken into custody.

The deputy escorting Estrada dropped his keys and when he bent down to retrieve them, Estrada struck 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 the lawman until other deputies arrived and made an arrest, he said.

The deputy was hospitalized in critical condition, but his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, sheriff’s officials said.

Swensson said Estrada is not a gang member but has a violent past and at the time of Friday’s attack was on probation after a conviction for assault on a peace officer.

Swensson said the deputy’s injuries “will definitely be life-changing,” and he will face a long recovery. He is married with two children.