DELANO – Officials at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) are investigating two separate serious batteries on staff that occurred early in the morning of April 17, 2017. 

At about 6:40 a.m. in Facility A, two correctional officers were escorting inmate Steven Corotan, 40, up a flight of stairs to his cell. Corotan began arguing with staff, refusing to enter his cell. One of the officers ordered him to submit to handcuffs and Corotan punched him in the face, knocking the officer down the stairs and into the dayroom. At the same time Corotan’s cellmate, Raul Alvarado, 44, ran from the cell and joined in battering the officers. Responders utilized less-lethal 40mm rounds, pepper spray, physical force and a baton to quickly quell the attack.

One officer was transported to an outside hospital due to loss of consciousness. He is being treated for a broken sinus.

Alvarado was transported to an outside hospital for treatment of a non-life-threatening head injury.

At about 7:10 a.m. in Facility A, officers were processing inmates from the dining hall back to their assigned cells when inmate Jesus Vasquez, 39, punched an officer in the face. He refused to comply with orders to stop and resisted staff. Physical force, a baton and pepper spray were used to gain compliance. Several officers were injured during the incident; however, none required treatment at an outside hospital.

Vasquez was transported to an outside hospital for treatment of facial injuries and was returned to KVSP.

Corotan was received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in July 1994 from San Diego County to serve life with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder. Alvarado was received by CDCR in July 1991 from Los Angeles County to serve life with the possibility of parole for second-degree murder. Vasquez was received by CDCR February of 2002 from San Diego County to serve life with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder.

Prison officials have limited inmate movement on Facility A as the attacks are thoroughly investigated. All involved inmates have been rehoused in KVSP’s Administrative Segregation Unit during the investigation.

KVSP opened in 2005 and houses 3,946 minimum-, medium-, maximum- and high-security custody inmates. KVSP offers academic classes and vocational programs and employs approximately 1,800 people. For more information, visit www.cdcr.ca.gov.

CONTACT:  LT. MICHAEL BETZINGER
(661) 721-6314