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San Francisco, one week later…
It was ironic that Diego Rojas never liked wearing red; it made him stand out from the monotone dark and dingy fashion worn by much of the Bay Area streetwise. He didn’t have a choice these days. The red inmate clothing of the San Francisco County Jail at 850 Bryant was his only option, but that would soon change.
Diego was only 24 hours away from trading in his red pull-up pants and sweatshirt for Solano Prison blues, which meant getting to see his brother on a weekly basis; one of his conditions for telling what he knew about Los Dorados and their Kiss operation. He was confident that ADA Harris would follow through with the deal because he was holding back a key source of intelligence until she did. That source was the number of his burner phone that was destroyed beyond recognition in the explosion. Once the police had that number, they could identify what other phone numbers called him, including El Caco.
For the past six weeks, Diego had spent 22 hours a day in a cell and only mixed with a small section of the general population while he traveled to and from the showers. This was the price he had to pay for becoming a snitch against Los Dorados.
A guard suddenly appeared in front of his cell and announced through the bars, “Shower time.”
Diego had been waiting for him, towel and toiletries in hand and shower shoes on his feet. Without saying a word, he stood, placed his hands through the center hole, and waited to be cuffed. The ultimate reminder of his incarceration, but as an unsentenced inmate, protocol required he be, at a minimum, handcuffed while in transit.
He had taken this same route at the same time every day for the last 40 days, but today he had an extra pep in his step because this would be his last trip to the stench-filled inmate shower stalls at 850 Bryant. He would, though, miss having the shower all to himself.
Turn left, through an entrapment, then one more left turn.
Just like every day before, several other inmates were exiting the shower and walking in the opposite direction. Just as Diego was about to pass them, a scuffle broke out between two inmates, then within seconds, it grew into a full melee involving half a dozen. Unexpectedly, the one guard was overpowered, and Diego was pulled into the fight. After he was pushed to the ground, everyone pounced on him, then he felt something sharp pierce his abdomen once, twice, three times. Finally, more guards arrived and started hitting the other inmates with their batons to break up the scuffle.