A sheriff’s deputy was hospitalized Saturday, Dec. 15, while attempting to arrest a man seen hitting a red-light camera with a baseball bat, authorities said.
The deputy, whose name has not been released, was being treated for multiple broken bones.
The incident started shortly after 2:30 p.m. after the Sheriff’s Department received reports from witnesses who said they saw the man on a ladder striking the traffic-light camera at the intersection of North El Camino Real and Encinitas Boulevard.
A deputy who was driving by saw the man hitting the camera. The deputy stopped his vehicle and contacted the man, ordering him to stop and drop the baseball bat, the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
The man refused to comply with the deputy’s order, and the deputy fired his Taser at the suspect in an attempt to incapacitate him, the department said, but the Taser malfunctioned.
The suspect then swung the bat at the deputy, the department said, prompting the deputy to take out his baton and hit the suspect.
He ran and the deputy chased him for a short distance into the parking lot of a nearby Shell gas station on Encinitas Boulevard. When the deputy caught up to the suspect, the man “turned around and attacked the deputy,” according to the Sheriff’s Department.
As they fought, other deputies arrived and the suspect was detained and handcuffed. The suspect, identified later as Frederick Gramcko, 55, was restrained with a device known as the WRAP, then taken to a hospital for treatment.
Gramcko was arrested and booked into the Vista jail on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer.
--Dana Littlefield is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune