SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch - Red Flag Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Inmates at one California jail tried to infect themselves with coronavirus, Los Angeles Sheriff says

Inmates at a California correctional facility drank from the same cup with the purpose of infecting one another, resulting in 21 cases of coronavirus, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Posted: May 12, 2020 3:21 AM


Inmates at a Los Angeles County correctional facility drank from the same cup with the purpose of infecting one another, resulting in 21 cases of coronavirus, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.

The inmates at North County Correctional Facility in Castaic are seen on surveillance video crowding the hot water dispenser, sipping the water, and also "sniffing" out of a common mask, according to Villanueva.

"It is very disturbing to think that people would do this to themselves deliberately in an attempt to force our hand to release more people from custody," the sheriff said at a press conference on Monday.

The inmates were drinking hot water to try to raise their oral temperatures before a temperature check, he added.

Within a week of the surveillance video, 21 inmates tested positive. The sheriff estimated that the 21 people made up about 40% of the module's population at the time.

"Every inmate has access to their own cup of water which they jealously guard," the sheriff said. They use it to cook ramen noodles or make instant coffee, for example.

"It's not something they share person-to-person, and anyone who practices basic hygiene doesn't do that anyway," Villanueva said. "So, in this environment, and then considering the fact that the 21 tested positive out of that module, shows what their intention was."

The department is exploring criminal prosecution for those who intentionally spread the virus, he said.

"No one's gonna admit to" intentionally trying to infect themselves, the sheriff said. "I think their behavior is what convicts them."

The news comes almost two months after Los Angeles County released some inmates early and reduced the number of arrests in the county due to coronavirus concerns.

The department relies on "sound science and sound legal advice" regarding inmate release, Villanueva said.

The mid-April spike in positive cases drew the attention of authorities. On May 3, the department started testing everyone -- but at the time of the video, only those exhibiting symptoms were tested.

A total of 357 inmates have tested positive for coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, according to the sheriff's department.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32314

Reported Deaths: 542
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7081137
Marion462792
Washington446859
Umatilla294841
Clackamas237761
Malheur160926
Lane114317
Jackson11235
Deschutes81012
Yamhill75513
Jefferson5248
Polk52315
Linn50813
Morrow4986
Lincoln47813
Union4432
Benton3076
Wasco2823
Klamath2802
Hood River2480
Douglas2234
Clatsop2050
Josephine1972
Columbia1621
Coos1520
Baker922
Crook611
Tillamook520
Lake320
Curry310
Wallowa281
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant90
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 803660

Reported Deaths: 15516
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2657756488
Riverside581781189
San Bernardino53669922
Orange529041204
San Diego46001775
Kern31785361
Fresno28106382
Sacramento22026402
Alameda21028404
Santa Clara20882306
San Joaquin20194441
Stanislaus16452348
Contra Costa16327204
Tulare15897259
Ventura12617147
Imperial11781317
San Francisco1103899
San Mateo9785150
Monterey977270
Santa Barbara9003113
Merced8846140
Kings763177
Sonoma7320120
Marin6672117
Solano630963
Madera448165
Placer354244
San Luis Obispo351029
Butte280343
Yolo278955
Santa Cruz23199
Sutter169611
Napa166113
San Benito133111
Yuba11437
El Dorado10984
Mendocino89918
Shasta77717
Lassen7370
Glenn5743
Tehama5404
Lake53411
Nevada5317
Colusa5276
Humboldt5017
Calaveras31414
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 57°
Brookings
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 60°
Crater Lake
Scattered Clouds
50° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 50°
Grants Pass
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
Klamath Falls
Scattered Clouds
50° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 50°
Drying out this afternoon
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Friday, September 25th Evening Weather

Image

First responders tell the Almeda Fire story

Image

Fire hydrants stopped pumping water during the Almeda Fire

Image

Jackson County Expo shelter remains, but resources move off-site

Image

Shawna Huggins of Phoenix

Image

Friday, September 25 afternoon weather

Image

Friday, September 25 morning weather

Image

Happy Camp Hero

Image

New multi-agency resource center opened in Medford

Image

Thursday, September 24th Evening Weather