Santa Rita inmate accused of brutally beating fellow inmate

An inmate at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin has been charged with felony mayhem and assault for allegedly beating a fellow inmate so brutally last month that the victim lost his right eye, according to court records.

Michael Angel Rodriguez, 44, of Tracy was charged on Sept. 4 for the alleged attack on the other inmate at 7:15 p.m. on Aug. 29.

Alameda County sheriff's Deputy Brian Quinn wrote in a probable cause statement that he was escorting inmates into a temporary holding tank at Santa Rita when Rodriguez walked over to the other inmate, who was sleeping, and struck him in the head multiple times without provocation.

Quinn said he ordered Rodriguez to stop attacking the other inmate but Rodriguez failed to follow his instructions, so he grabbed Rodriguez, which caused him to stop striking the victim and become compliant.

The victim was taken to a hospital for emergency surgery to repair his right eye but the surgery was unsuccessful, according to Quinn.

A second surgery was then performed "to remove what was remaining of the victim's right eye," Quinn wrote.

Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said on Friday it's fortunate that Quinn was able to intercede and stop the attack because Rodriguez could have injured the other inmate even more severely because the victim was sleeping and wasn't able to defend himself.

Court records indicate that Rodriguez has 10 prior felony convictions in Alameda, Santa Clara, San Joaquin and San Luis Obispo counties dating back to 1991.

His convictions are for forcible rape, assault, auto theft, grand theft, possession of drugs for sale, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of ammunition by a prohibited person and failing to register as a sex offender.

Rodriguez, who's being held at Santa Rita in lieu of $300,000 bail, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him on Sept. 5 and is scheduled to return to court on Tuesday for a pretrial hearing.