A family mourning the death of a man who was allegedly beaten until he was brain dead by the husband of a Harris County (Texas) sheriff’s deputy now says they believe that they will not get justice, because they believe that the husband of the sheriff’s deputy has connections that will allow him to remain uncharged with regard to the beating. As proof, the wife of the beaten man, 24-year-old Johnny Hernandez, points to the police report, which identifies the man who allegedly beat her husband as the victim.
KHOU-TV in Houston, Texas, reported Thursday (June 1) that Johnny Hernandez was taken off of life support Wednesday night. The family’s lawyer confirmed the death of the young husband and father of one, who was in a brain-dead state at the time of his passing.
How Johnny Hernandez ended up in the hospital is under investigation by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, because there now appear to be two very different tales as to the events that took place in a Denny’s restaurant parking lot.
What is not disputed is what started the deadly sequence.
Hernandez’s wife and the police report agree that Hernandez was drunk. She said she and her husband and daughter pulled into Denny’s after celebrating the victory of her husband’s favorite soccer team. She said she insisted her husband have coffee, but instead he decided to urinate near their vehicle. (According to CBS News, surveillance footage shows the wife trying to stop Hernandez from going outside the Denny’s.)
A man who was at Denny’s with his children saw Hernandez urinating and verbally confronted him about his behavior in public. (The police report said the man, 41, had just pulled into the Denny’s when they saw a man urinating in public.) The two men then engaged in an altercation. (Denny’s camera footage shows the two scuffling.)
Hernandez’s wife said, “She [the daughter] was crying and telling (the man beating Hernandez) stop and he didn’t even stop. I told him please stop. Don’t do that to him. He’s drunk. He wasn’t in any position to fight. But, he didn’t have any compassion. He was really angry.”
Hernandez’s wife claims that deputies responding to the scene took her cell phone, then they led her away to be interviewed.
From the statement issued by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office: “The 41-year-old male is the husband of a Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy. The deputy was off duty at the time of the altercation. The off-duty deputy arrived in a separate vehicle to meet her family at the restaurant and called for assistance from the sheriff’s office and EMS. She then helped her husband restrain the other man.”
According to the statement, the off-duty officer, upon noticing that the man had stopped resisting and was no longer breathing, administered CPR until Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived and transported Hernandez to the hospital.
But an eyewitness to the incident contradicts the version released by the sheriff’s office, particularly where the off-duty sheriff’s deputy helped restrain Hernandez and then administered CPR. In fact, the witness, who spoke to KHOU-TV on condition of anonymity, said that Hernandez was both drunk and defenseless while the other man beat him. The witness also noted that the sheriff’s deputy did nothing to stop her husband from hitting the inebriated Hernandez.
“Even after I told him ‘stop, stop’ and other people were screaming he wouldn’t do it,” the eyewitness told KHOU-TV. “Even after his wife came he didn’t do it. His wife didn’t do anything, because I went in to call the police she was already there on the side and I didn’t see her do anything, I didn’t hear tell him stop. I didn’t hear her tell him anything. She just was watching.”
Hernandez’s wife said, “They feel that they can get it covered up because they are cops.”
According to CBS News, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales told reporters Friday that his department, which is conducting an investigation into the matter, has asked the Department of Justice and the Texas Rangers to aid in the investigation to ensure “transparency” and “another set of independent eyes.”
[Featured Image by Bennian/Shutterstock]