Deputy punched in the face, the latest deputy to be attacked


At the start of the month, Santa Clarita Valley saw a sheriff’s detective stabbed in an unprovoked attack, now on Sunday, a sheriff’s deputy was punched in the face in an unprovoked attack.

The latest attack on a sworn officer happened early Sunday morning, about 2:40 a.m., when deputies were on the 20400 block of Kelsey Street in Canyon Country assisting two intoxicated males, Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station told The Signal on Monday.

As the deputies were helping the two intoxicated males, one of two men punched a deputy in the face in an unprovoked attack, she said.

“The suspect was taken into custody with the help of additional deputies,” Miller said.

Erik James Pigati, 28, of Canyon Country, was arrested on suspicion of battery on a peace officer with injury, a felony.

The extent of the deputy’s injury was not disclosed.

Pigati is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

SCV sheriff’s deputies responded to an attack on one of their own earlier this month when, on Jan. 8, a detective was stabbed at fast food restaurant in Canyon Country.

The wounded detective was treated at the hospital and was expected to make a full recovery.

Two days after the attack, Donald Chinchilla, 21, was arrested after deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station cordoned off a neighborhood one block north of the Jack in the Box restaurant where the stabbing occurred.

Detectives have yet to identify or release a motive for the attack.

Sunday’s attack on a deputy brings to three the number of deputies injured in the line of duty  – punched, stabbed or shot – in the last couple of months.

On Nov. 28, a local sheriff’s was shot in the neck while investigating a report of an assault with a deadly weapon in Newhall.

The bullet entered into one side of his neck and out the other end less than an inch away from his spine.

The wounded deputy was treated and later released from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

A month after the shooting, deputies arrested Monolito Guerra, 29, of Newhall, who had been on parole in Newhall for a little over a month on assault and evading arrest convictions, a Homicide Bureau lieutenant said at the time.

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