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An Imperial County Sheriff’s Office deputy assigned to patrol Holtville remained hospitalized on the morning of Nov. 29 with an unspecified head injury after being injured in an encounter with a suspect in the city late on Nov. 28, a sheriff’s official said.
The incident occurred about 8:30 p.m. in the area of the intersection of Ninth Street and Orange Avenue, said Sgt. R. Patterson, officer in charge of the sheriff’s Holtville station. One report had gunshots being fired but Patterson declined to confirm that.
The deputy, whose name was not immediately released, was flown to an out-of-the-area hospital “for precautionary reasons,” Patterson said, adding he was reported in stable condition.
The deputy was conscious and alert following the incident, he added.
“At that time it was unknown as to the extent of his injuries so they flew him out,” Patterson added.
The suspect was taken into custody a short time later “a block away” after a brief search, Patterson said. He suffered minor injuries, was treated at the scene and was booked into the county jail, he added.
The suspect’s name, information on the allegations he is facing, bail and whether or not he remains in custody was not immediately available.
Patterson said no one else was known to have been injured.
Patterson said details on how the incident unfolded were not yet available because the investigation was in its early stages. But he did say the incident did not involve a traffic stop and did not appear to have been connected to a dwelling or business structure.
Patterson said he could not confirm is any gunfire was involved.
“We’re still investigating with witnesses,” he said.
However, in an e-mail sent late on Nov. 28 Holtville City Manager Nick Wells stated, “An incident occurred in Holtville this evening involving an Imperial County Sheriff’s Office deputy tasked to the City of Holtville and an individual he had contacted for suspected criminal activity. Gunshots were fired. Neither party was struck by the gunfire, however the deputy was injured in the scuffle when the individual struck him in the head with an unknown object.”
Multiple agencies responded to assist the deputy, Patterson added, though he did not yet have details on how they were contacted.
Wells added, “The perpetrator fled the scene, but was apprehended shortly thereafter and put in custody. The deputy was lucid and stable, but life-flighted out for treatment and in exercising abundant caution.”
The Sheriff’s Office has provided law enforcement services for Holtville for several years since the city disbanded its police department.