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Inmate attacks sheriff's deputy

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 19th, 2013

Ramon Exquio Diego

Courier staff writer

ALAMOSA — Until last week, Ramon Exquio Diego was behind bars for relatively minor offenses.

But after he allegedly tried to break out of the county jail by taking a deputy hostage, the 31-year-old man is facing far more serious charges, including attempted murder, first-degree assault and attempted escape.

Authorities say that Diego attacked Alamosa County Detention Deputy Kayla Covington on June 12 while she was on the job at the facility.

According to a press release from Alamosa County Sheriff’s Lt. Jim McCloskey, Diego tried to take Covington hostage by grabbing a piece of cloth and wrapping it around her neck.

Covington knew that her life was in danger, so she went on the offensive. Cpl. Chris Westerman and Jail Technician Don Harrington also stepped in to the fray, and the three of them subdued Covington’s alleged assailant.

The three employees were quickly treated for minor injuries, while Diego was taken to the hospital for additional medical care.

McCloskey honored Covington, Westerman, Harrington and their co-workers for their everyday service.

“Our men and women (in) law enforcement are facing risky odds with minimal equipment and manpower to do the job,” he said. “I praise all of them for their dedication and professional work.”

Diego is set to appear in Alamosa County Court on June 20 for a return filing of charges. In addition to the pending charges, he stands accused of criminal impersonation and resisting arrest.

He remains in custody at the county jail.

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