Things That Matter

New Footage Shows This Latino Father Was Put Into A Deadly Chokehold By The Husband Of An Off Duty Cop

Credit: Click2Houston

Video was recently released of 24-year-old John Hernandez, a father and Houston resident, being choked to death by the husband of an off-duty deputy outside of a Denny’s restaurant. As Fox 26 reported, on May 28, Hernandez’s wife took him to Denny’s for some coffee after a night out drinking and watching a sporting event. From the video above, you can see Hernandez wearing what appears to be a Chivas jersey, the Mexican soccer team that had won the league championship earlier that day. According to reports, Hernandez had been drinking heavily and went outside to relieve himself in front of the Denny’s.

Although there is no footage of Hernandez urinating outside, investigators say a man named Terry Thompson saw him do it and confronted him, which led to a verbal altercation that eventually became physical. The 41-year-old Thompson held Hernandez in a strangle hold on the ground until he became unconscious. At that time his wife, Deputy Chauna Thompson, began CPR until paramedics arrived, but they were too late. Upon arrival at the hospital, Hernandez was in a coma and was removed from life support within a few days.

Footage of the altercation taken by a bystander was posted online. The video showed the chokehold, the deputy helping restrain Hernandez, and other bystanders trying to stop the person recording from getting a good look at what was going on.

This footage of Hernandez being strangled by the husband of an off-duty deputy was just released.

(WARNING: Some viewers may find this footage disturbing.)
Credit: Xavier James / Youtube

When police finally arrived on the scene, Hernandez was taken to the hospital and Thompson was released. Police are saying he isn’t getting preferential treatment just because his wife is a deputy. Hernandez’s family feels differently.

Protesters marched in East Houston for action to be taken against the Thompsons.

They carried signs that read “Justice for Johnny.”

Several of Hernandez’s family members led the march and gathered with protesters at a press conference to call for justice.

Hernandez’s aunt named the District Attorney, the Sheriff as well as Deputy Thompson and her husband, urging officials to take action.

According to Houston’s NBC affiliate, Hernandez’s death was ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner.

“It’s not fair just because he’s Mexican nobody helped him. It’s because the other guy was married with the [deputy],” said Gilberto Garcia, who attended a vigil on Sunday by Hernandez’s family and supporters.


Update 6/8/17:

Terry and Chauna Thompson have been charged by a grand jury with the murder of John Hernandez according to KHOU-TV, a Houston based CBS affiliate. In an article on their site, they quoted District Attorney Kim Ogg who said: “We believe that this grand jury true bill is a reflection of our community’s belief that a crime occurred and that crime was murder.” As of Thursday evening the two have not yet been taken into custody and have been allowed to surrender.


READ: Family Of Unarmed Man Who Was Killed By Off-Duty Police Officer Says They Had A History


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Former Texas State Senate Candidate Says She Was ‘Tortured’ in a Hotel Room After a Violent Ambush

Things That Matter

Former Texas State Senate Candidate Says She Was ‘Tortured’ in a Hotel Room After a Violent Ambush

Photo: Vanessa Tijerina/Facebook

Texas police are currently trying to get to the bottom of a disturbing incident that happened in Raymondville on Monday.

Former Republican candidate for Texas state Senate, Vanessa Tijerina, posted a shocking 10-minute Facebook Live video detailing the brutal assault she experienced in a nearby hotel on Monday.

Tijerina appeared in the video with her face looking unrecognizable. She had two black eyes–both of which were swollen almost completely shut.

Her face was covered in bruises. Her speech was impaired from how much swelling she was experiencing. It looked–to be blunt–like she had been beaten to a pulp.

Through tears, Tijerina explained to her followers that she was lured to a hotel room by some unnamed assailants who led her to believe they had “something really really really important” to tell her that they couldn’t tell her over the phone.

But once she was alone in the hotel room, the assailants “gagged, bound [and] tortured” her.

“I was beaten. I was terrorized, bound, gagged, tortured,” she said in the Facebook Live video.

“I never fought back because I knew that if I fought back, it would’ve been worse and I probably wasn’t going to survive. And I needed to survive for my daughters.”

Although a motive for the assault hasn’t yet been established, Tijerina is a relatively high-profile figure in Texas’s Raymondville community. She is active on social media and regularly goes on Facebook live to engage with her followers and supporters. And with her high profile comes a litany of critics and haters who have created troll accounts with the express purpose of smearing her.

Despite all this, Tijerina refutes the rumors that she “did something” to motivate the beating.

“There was nothing that I did that made this okay for this to happen to me,” she said. Tijerina began to get increasingly more emotional as she talked about her children and the fact that she was not able to give her children the toys she bought them for Christmas.

So far, Raymondville police have arrested three suspects in connection to the assault: Amanda Salinas, Ariel Jamie Vela and Ramon Donato Santana Jr. As for who was on the phone giving orders at the time of the assault, police are still looking for answers.

As of this writing, the police have not yet publicly revealed a motive. But since her attack, Tijerina has again taken to her Facebook page to assert that the assault was “100% motivated by hate.”

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4-Year-Old is Rescued By First Responders After Being Trapped in a Well For 6 Hours; ‘It’s a Christmas Miracle’

Things That Matter

4-Year-Old is Rescued By First Responders After Being Trapped in a Well For 6 Hours; ‘It’s a Christmas Miracle’

Photo courtesy of City of Mission, TX

On December 8th, a 4-year-old boy in Garceño, Texas was rescued from an 8-inch wide well after accidentally falling into it. According to the authorities in Mission, Texas, the boy was rescued by first responders who worked tirelessly over a six hour period to dig the boy out.

According to reports, the authorities responded to an emergency call at 4:40 p.m that explained that the 4-year-old had fallen down a well at a ranch property in Garceño.

The stunning rescue was captured on video for the world to see.

“So proud of our Mission firefighters & all 1st responders that rescued the child after 6 long hrs,” the City of Mission wrote on Twitter. “Pit was only 8-10 inches in diameter. It’s a Christmas miracle!”

The video shows the final moments of the rescue. Onlookers applauded as first responders lifted the boy out of the hole.

Authorities reported that the boy was flown to hospital to undergo testing after his harrowing ordeal. He is reportedly in stable condition.

The day after the boy’s rescue, Sheriff Rene “Orta” Fuentes took to Facebook to express his gratitude to the Starr County community, naming every first responder who had a hand in rescuing the unnamed boy.

“Last night proved to be a testament of our community and neighboring communities’ unity and sincere concern for each other,” wrote Sheriff Fuentes. “Through prayers and actions from everyone involved a little boy lives today.”

The city of Mission also tweeted out videos and photos, calling the rescue a “Christmas Miracle”.

According to Robert Alvarez, the assistant fire chief of the town’s Fire Department, a crew trained in “trench rescues” was sent to the scene.

According to local authorities, the rescue team dug a hole in the ground parallel to where the boy was trapped. When the second hole was deep enough, the team chiseled away at the ground until they were able to break through the wall of where the boy was trapped.

Throughout the entire ordeal, Alvarez says that the child’s welfare was of the utmost priority. “The biggest thing that we were trying to make sure was that the operation was done safely,” he told USA Today.

This is a happy ending to an ordeal that could have ended in tragedy. We’re happy that this little boy and his family are able to celebrate the holidays together, safe and sound.

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