Man sentenced to 30 years for biting police officer during arrest

Man sentenced to 30 years for biting police officer during arrest
Angel Hernandez, 35

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Lubbock man faced 25 years to life for biting a police officer during an arrest that happened in March 2018. Today he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Angel Hernandez, 36, is still incarcerated in the Lubbock County Detention Center. He was found guilty by a Lubbock County Jury on Jan. 24 on a charge of assault of a public servant.

The police report says the officer was patrolling the 6400 block of 89th Street around 10:43 p.m. when he saw a person on a bicycle without a light. The officer pulled Hernandez over and identified himself. Hernandez said the light on his bicycle was not working and verbally identified himself to the officer.

The officer noticed that Hernandez had active warrants out for his arrest and tried to take him into custody.

Hernandez took off running before the officer could get handcuffs on him, leading the officer on a chase down the 8900 block of Milwaukee Avenue, finally ending in a yard in the 6500 block of 90th Street. The officer saw Hernandez climbing a fence trying to jump on the roof of a house.

The officer deployed his taser and struck Hernandez with both probes, causing him to fall to the ground, but Hernandez still refused to obey officer commands. The report says he was able to take one probe off and was trying to stand up. The officer got closer and tased him again in the right shoulder, but it seemed to be ineffective. Hernandez struggled with the officer and tried to take the taser from him, activating it and stunning them both in the process.

The officer held on to his taser but Hernandez continued to struggle and try to take it from him, biting the officer on the right arm multiple times. The police report states, “I pulled out my LPD issued Glock 22 firearm. I pointed the firearm directly at and slightly touching A1′s head so he knew it was there.”

Hernandez seemed to comply with commands at this point so the officer put his firearm back in its holster and grabbed his handcuffs. When Hernandez continued to resist, the officer says he struck him with his baton multiple times in the back of the head.

The report states that the officer was fatigued from the chase and the struggle and was worried about being overpowered by the suspect, who may have been able tase him, overpower him and "disable me to get my gun."

At this point the homeowner came out to help and Hernandez tried to grab the officer's baton.

The officer asked the homeowner to kick the suspect to try and get him off. The homeowner kicked him several times and the officer was able to keep Hernandez pinned on the ground until backup arrived. Officers were then able to take him into custody.

In court for his sentencing hearing presided by Judge Trey McClendon on Monday, Hernandez repeatedly acknowledged his role in the public nature of his case in the news and on social media.

He made statements expressing his dissatisfaction with the defense put forward by his attorney. Hernandez claimed he didn’t do anything but “be a punching bag” for police.

Hernandez made it clear he wishes to appeal, insisting that he was protecting himself when he bit the officer, because, he claimed, he was choking him.

Defense attorneys for Hernandez called on an employee with the Lubbock County Detention Center who works with inmates including hernandez in classes for anger management, art, religion, parenting and AA classes.

State prosecutors closed with arguments recapping Hernandez' extensive arrest record and criminal history, indicating habitual criminal offense.

With all the evidence presented, Judge McClendon sentenced Hernandez to 30 years. He said in his closing statement, “You’ll have lots of time to think about our system and whether it works. I’m of the opinion that it does. We’re in a free country where we can disagree about these things but you’ll be disagreeing behind bars.”

Hernandez was charged with aggravated assault against a public servant, attempting to take a weapon from an officer and evading arrest, along with a previous charge for forgery filed back on March 8. He has been convicted in the past of burglary, evading arrest, possession of marijuana, domestic assault, theft, and forgery of a financial instrument in Lubbock, Potter, Ector and Andrews Counties.

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