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Deputy accused of beating 19-year-old inmate

Posted: April 14, 2013 10:28 a.m.
Updated: April 14, 2013 10:28 a.m.

A Saugus man who works as a deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has been charged with assaulting a 19-year-old inmate in the back seat of a patrol car almost two years ago, according to the Los AngelesCounty District Attorney’s office.

Matthew John Funicello, 31, who lives near Bouquet Canyon Park, was arrested on suspicion of having committed a felony by allegedly striking an inmate several times with his fist on July 22, 2011. 

He is charged with one count of violating Penal Code section 149, assault under color of authority.

His arrest follows an investigation by the detectives with the Sheriff’s Internal Criminal Investigations Branch.

The inmate, according to a media release issued Friday by the District Attorney’s office, was being transported from the sheriff’s Palmdale Station to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles when the alleged attack occurred.

The complaint was filed Thursday by Deputy District Attorney Geoffrey Rendon of the Justice System Integrity Division.

Funicello was booked at the Crescenta Valley Station late Thursday and was released on $35,000 bail. 

He is scheduled to be arraigned May 20 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Department 30.

If convicted, Funicello faces up to three years in county jail.


on Twitter @jamesarthurholt


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