Inmate Joseph Altamirano attacked an officer at the facility after being released from his cell

SOLEDAD — The Correctional Training Facility (CTF) Investigative Services Unit in Soledad is investigating the death of an inmate who died after he attacked correctional officers during an altercation.

According to a press release from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), on Thursday, March 21, at approximately 11 a.m., when officers were releasing people from their cells, one of the inmates, Joseph Altamirano, “yelled at and then struck an officer with his fist.”

The press release continues to say that when the officer struck Altamirano, who then fell to the ground, they attempted to reengage against the officer. Staff then activated their personal alarm devices and gave verbal orders to the inmate to “get down” and then used pepper spray when Altamirano continued to try to assault an officer. Officers held Altamirano to the ground and put him in restraints to stop the attack.


However, shortly after, Altamirano began having difficulty breathing. Staff immediately began life-saving measures and transported him by ambulance to an outside medical facility. At 12:36 p.m., Altamirano was pronounced deceased by a hospital doctor.

The press release from CDCR, Altamirano attacked one staff member during the incident. That staff member was evaluated and treated at CTF. Additionally, two responding staff members were transported to outside medical facilities. Both staff members have since been treated and released from the hospital.

Altamirano was most recently admitted from Santa Clara County on Nov. 24, 2003, to serve life with the possibility of parole for attempted carjacking and attempted kidnapping as a third-striker, with enhancements for prior felony convictions of a serious offense.

An investigation of the scene has since ensued. The Office of the Inspector General, the Office of Internal Affairs, and CDCR’s Deadly Force Investigation Team were notified. The Coroner’s Division of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office will determine Altamirano’s cause of death.

CTF houses minimum and medium-security male inmates. The prison opened in Monterey County in 1947, houses more than 4,000 inmates, and employs 1,189 staff.

No further information on the incident is available at this time.