Woman Claims Tracy Officers Used Excessive Force While Arresting Her Disabled Son

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TRACY -- Just two days after filing a lawsuit against Sacramento police, John Hernandez is behind bars.

Hernandez is being held on no bail, which the Tracy Police Department says is common when a person has missed court appearances. He faces failure to appear charges in two El Dorado County cases.

As Hernandez's mother was leaving her home Thursday, she was met by a group of officers.

"And they told my son to get out of the car, but he had his seat belt on so they drug him out of the car," she said.

Debbie Hernandez’s son, John, has had run-ins with the law before, mainly for drug offenses, including a dash from law enforcement in March. On Thursday, the Tracy Police Department was sent to pick up John Hernandez because he had four warrants for his arrest.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, he’s disabled. Please wait,'" Debbie Hernandez said. "And the cop told me to put my hands up and I did, but he pointed the gun at my head like that and I was like, 'Really? Is this necessary?'”

Debbie Hernandez said the officers used excessive force in arresting her son.

"John can’t run, doesn’t know how. Not anymore," she said. "He used to be a really good runner, but John had to learn how to walk and talk all over again."

Tracy police said six officers were present at the time of John Hernandez’s arrest, a number common for warrant arrests when a person has a history of not appearing in court, which he has been charged with doing.

"In a situation where we have a person that is likely to run, we have a responsibility to not only establish containment around the residence, but also have sufficient officers to search a residence and affect an arrest inside," said Tracy Police Department Lt. Tony Matuska.

The police department said any claim that they pointed a gun is false and, after reviewing body camera footage, they said the event did not occur.

The arrest came two days after the Hernandez family spoke with FOX40 after filing a civil rights lawsuit against the Sacramento Police Department after John Hernandez suffered injuries stemming from that arrest in March.

"Very, very coincidental," Debbie Hernandez said.

John Hernandez suffered a brain injury after he was allegedly tasered and hit with a baton before being smothered by four officers, who the lawsuit says deprived him of oxygen for 10 minutes.

"I was just getting him to where I could get him out again to physical therapy and that’s really going to be a setback for him," John Hernandez's mother told FOX40.

The Tracy Police Department said the call for John Hernandez’s arrest came from Placer County, though the warrants for him are from Sacramento, Manteca and two from El Dorado County. The Placer County District Attorney’s Office could not be reached to ask about the timing of the arrest.

Hernandez is set to appear in court Monday morning in Manteca.


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