Ponce, PR – Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR) Correctional Sergeant Pedro Rodriguez-Mateo was died in the line of duty on Aug. 1, after being attacked by an inmate inside the prison the day prior.
Correctional Sgt. Rodriguez-Mateo was supervising the visitation room at the Ponce Maximum Security Facility on July 31, when he spotted an inmate receiving an object from a visitor, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
The 44-year-old correctional sergeant removed the inmate from the room to be searched, at which point the prisoner attacked him.
The suspect, who was serving 71 years behind bars for a triple homicide, managed to disarm Correctional Sgt. Rodriguez-Mateo of his baton, and began beating him with it.
The blows were so severe that the correctional sergeant suffered at least one skull fracture, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Correctional Sgt. Rodriguez-Mateo was rushed to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Aug. 1.
The inmate has been identified as Luis Sostre Piccinnini, Univision reported.
He has been charged with first-degree murder of a correctional officer, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
“Today we don't lose an officer, today we lose a friend and an excellent public servant,” DOCR Secretary Erik Rolon Suarez said, according to Telemundo. “My deepest condolences to his wife, family and friends.”
Rolon Suarez promoted the fallen corrections officer to the rank of sergeant posthumously.
He also revoked Piccinnini’s visitation privileges for life.
Correctional Sgt. Rodriguez-Mateo leaves behind his wife and child, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Correctional Sergeant Pedro Rodriguez-Mateo, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.