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Public Safety

Sheriff's department: Inmate dies after being assaulted

The George Bailey Detention Facility in Otay Mesa is shown on July 21, 2015.
Megan Wood
The George Bailey Detention Facility in Otay Mesa is shown on July 21, 2015.

A man in custody at the George Bailey Detention Facility died after being assaulted by other inmates Wednesday, authorities said today.

Just after 7 p.m., "deputies observed several incarcerated persons fighting in a housing module," Lt. Chris Steffen of the San Diego Sheriff's Department said. Once the men were separated, deputies found Raymond Vogelman, 52, of San Diego near his assigned bunk with injuries requiring emergency medical treatment.

Deputies and jail medical staff rendered aid to Vogelman until paramedics could transport him to a hospital, where he died.

On March 3, San Diego police arrested Vogelman and booked him into the San Diego Central Jail on two counts of burglary and committing a felony while on bail, Steffen said. Vogelman was moved to the George Bailey Detention Facility on Sept. 1.

Vogelman's is the latest in a string of deaths involving the San Diego County jail system over the past two years. Social justice advocates say 19 inmates have died in 2022, surpassing the 2021 death toll.

"We're waiting with bated breath for the next [death]," said Yusef Miller of the North County Equity and Justice Coalition.

There has been disagreement about the number of inmate deaths this year. The Sheriff's Department's count does not include an inmate who was given compassionate release before he died at a hospital.

In this latest case, Miller questions security measures inside the jail. "Where was the intercom and were they working? Where were the video cameras and were they working?" he asked. "All of these things were outlined in the audit that the Sheriff's Department underwent."

A state audit published in February found inmate deaths in San Diego County jails have ranked among the highest in California for the past 15 years, and said authorities have consistently failed to address the problem.

The state auditor called on the legislature to take action, but last week Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed AB 2343, the Saving Lives In Custody Act, which was written to address problems in the jails.

The Sheriff's Homicide Unit is investigating Vogelman's death, according to Steffen. The county Medical Examiner's Office will perform an autopsy, while the county Citizens' Law Enforcement Review Board has been notified about Vogelman's death.

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