LEON WORDEN / SCVNEWS.COM
A Santa Clarita Valley man who’s a deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is accused of repeatedly punching a 19-year-old inmate in his custody nearly two years ago, according to a Friday news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
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Matthew John Funicello, 31, of Valencia, is accused of striking the inmate several times with his fist July 22, 2011, while the inmate was in the backseat of his patrol car.
The inmate was being transported from the sheriff’s Palmdale Station to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles, according to the statement.
The complaint was filed Thursday by Deputy District Attorney Geoffrey Rendon of the Justice System Integrity Division.
It charges Funicello with one count of violating Penal Code section 149, assault under color of authority.
Funicello was booked at the Crescenta Valley Station late Thursday and released on $35,000 bail.
He is scheduled to be arraigned May 20 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Department 30.
If convicted, Funicello faces up to three years in county jail.
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