Authorities have identified a man shot by an undercover deputy after he used a baseball bat to strike that deputy’s car in Fallbrook Friday morning.
Jesus Cirilo Rodriguez, 30, was arrested near Reche and Ranger roads. He is suspected in a series of disturbing crimes involving unprovoked attacks on drivers in parked cars – just like the assault that landed him in an altercation with an undercover deputy early Friday morning.
Rodriguez is facing two counts of assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon. He is set to be arraigned the day after Christmas.
According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO), deputies in Fallbrook had recently been investigating three assaults in the area of Reche and Ranger roads, north of State Route 76 and less than two miles north of Pala Mesa Resort.
The first incident happened on the evening of Dec. 19; two more followed on the night of Dec. 20, just two hours apart from one another.
The SDSO said each assault was similar in nature: the male suspect – armed with a baseball bat – attacked victims in parked cars, smashing the windows of the vehicles before the victims fled to escape the assailant. Each attack appeared to be random, Lt. Rich Williams said.
In the first attack, the victim was able to drive away and report the incident to deputies. The victims of the second attack were not hurt. In the third attack, the driver was injured and taken to the hospital, the SDSO said.
Early Friday, deputies decided to stake out the area where the crimes had occurred. A deputy was sitting in an unmarked car, looking for the man behind the baseball bat attacks, when Rodriguez struck for the fourth time.
While the deputy monitored the area, Rodriguez walked up to the deputy’s car and smashed the window. As broken glass rained down on the deputy, the SDSO said he defended himself by shooting at the suspect.
Rodriguez suffered several wounds in the deputy-involved shooting. He was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery and is expected to survive, the SDSO said.
The deputy involved in the shooting suffered a laceration to his forehead. His name was not immediately released by the department.
The incident prompted a deputy-involved shooting investigation that stretched into Friday morning. At the scene, a baseball bat could be seen on the ground within the police tape perimeter.
Investigators said Friday the suspect was possibly a transient who lived out of his car near the intersection where the attacks occurred. Inmate booking records show Rodriguez will turn 31 on Sunday.