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A San Diego jail inmate died this week shortly after an 18-year-old cellmate attacked him, a sheriff’s lieutenant said Thursday.

A deputy making rounds in the San Diego Central Jail saw the attack in the cell, which happened about 7 p.m. Wednesday, sheriff’s homicide Lt. Thomas Seiver said in a news release.

Deputies broke up the attack and pulled the suspected assailant, identified as John Roman Medina, from the cell, Seiver said.

The victim, Dominique James McCoy, was unresponsive. Deputies began life-saving measures until paramedics arrived and took over. The 38-year-old San Diego man was taken to a hospital. He died shortly after arriving.


McCoy had been in jail since Dec. 23 — six days before the fatal attack — following his arrest by San Diego police on suspicion of possessing narcotics and selling drugs.

Medina, a Chula Vista resident who turned 18 less than two weeks ago, had been in jail since Sunday, three days before the attack. Chula Vista police had arrested him on suspicion of felony child cruelty, assault with a deadly weapon and cruelty to animals.

After the attack, he was also booked on suspicion of murder. Jail records indicate he is slated to be arraigned Tuesday.

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