Information provided by Hollister Police Department. People arrested by law enforcement are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
On Feb. 24, the Hollister Police Department released a video from 2016 involving the arrest of Ery Hernandez, 27. Police said Hernandez was arrested for suspicion of being under the influence, assaulting officers and resisting arrest. Police said Hernandez and police officers were hurt in the incident.
“We are releasing the video so that the community can see the details, in context, in the interest of transparency,” the police said.
According to police, on December 19, 2016, officers were called to the area of San Felipe Road and Maple Road for a report of a person requesting police assistance but when police arrived, the person was gone.
Later the same person was reported at Juvenile Hall located on Flynn Road. Police said when officers arrived and spoke with the man, identified as Hernandez, they determined he did not meet the criteria of 5150 W.I. (72 hour detention for mental health evaluation).
According to the police, Hernandez displayed symptoms and characteristics of being under the influence of a controlled substance. Officers began an evaluation to determine if he was under the influence but Hernandez reportedly would not cooperate with officers and became increasingly agitated and confrontational.
“The officers decided to place him in handcuffs to safely continue with the evaluation,” the release said said.
It went on to say when police attempted to handcuff Hernandez, he began to physically resist and fought with police.
“The officers and Hernandez were confined inside the front lobby of Juvenile Hall and initial calls for help over the police radio were not heard by dispatch,” police said. “During the course of the confrontation, police officers deployed pepper spray and three Taser deployments but they were ineffective.”
The officers, with the help of Juvenile Hall staff, were able to exit the confined room and attempted to keep Hernandez inside until help arrived. However, according to the Hollister Police Department, Hernandez charged the officers in the doorway and attempted to escape. The surveillance video at Juvenile Hall captured the incident as one of the officers grabbed a hold of Hernandez to keep him from escaping and the other officer deployed his baton. The Hollister Police Department did not have body cameras in use in 2016, according to the release.
Police said the surveillance video depicts officers issuing commands for Hernandez to stop resisting, lay on the ground and submit to arrest. The video provided by police that shows the police’s interaction with the person identified as Hernandez does not have audio until two additional officers and paramedics arrive on scene. The video also includes the calls to dispatch prior to the incident at Juvenile Hall where a caller identified as Hernandez requests for the police to pick him at McDonalds on San Felipe Road because he felt his life was in danger.
Police said during the course of the encounter Hernandez kicked at the officers and tried to stand up and escape.
“The Hollister officer struck Hernandez with the baton multiple times when he continued to resist by kicking at the officer or trying to escape,” police said.
The releases added that Hernandez received a cut to his hand and fractures to his arm as a result of the confrontation and was transported to the hospital for treatment and was later released.
“The case has been in the court process for several years due to pending criminal charges and Mr. Hernandez was placed on court ordered Mental Health diversion despite the objections of the District Attorney’s Office,” the release said. “In 2021, the San Benito Superior court dismissed the charges against Mr. Hernandez despite several other calls since 2016 regarding his violent behavior toward family members and other people in Hollister.”
Police said this case is now releasable under California law because the case was adjudicated in court in 2021 and a recent public records request was submitted and that it released the video in compliance with state law.
“The Hollister Police Department takes the conduct of our officers very seriously as well as the compliance of our arrest policy,” police said. “Although the information is just now being released, the police department has taken steps (prior to and since 2016) to improve our procedures and training. Since this incident, the two officers involved, as well as our entire department, have received multiple hours of training including: arrest and control, tactical communication, force options, implicit bias training, de-escalation and Mental Health considerations training.
The Hollister Police Department has also partnered with San Benito County Behavioral Health Department to create a S.A.F.E. team (Support, Awareness, Follow-up & Engagement) aimed at providing emergency and continued assistance to community members suffering with mental and substance abuse matters. Police said the S.A.F.E. Team officer has provided additional training for all personnel and more training is continuing.
“Although incidents involving great bodily injury to a suspect are extremely rare at the Hollister Police Department, the department would like the residents of Hollister to know we understand the optics of the video likely cause concern and the city has taken and is continuing to take steps to eliminate encounters such as these in the future,” police said.
It added that because of pending civil litigation, it cannot comment any further on the matter.
Link to the police report:
Video of the incident:
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