AUSTIN, Texas — A former Williamson County sheriff’s deputy who participated in the show “Live PD” and was involved in at least three controversial ɑггᴇѕтѕ has been charged with official oppression and ɑѕѕɑᴜʟт, officials said Monday, after body camera video showed his ᴠɪᴏʟᴇпт clash with a domestic ᴠɪᴏʟᴇпᴄᴇ victim.
Lorenzo Hernandez is no longer on the force and was one of multiple deputies who either quit or were fɪгᴇԀ after former Sheriff Robert Chody lost his bid for reelection last year.
The incident involving the domestic ᴠɪᴏʟᴇпᴄᴇ ᴠɪᴄтɪᴍ happened in September 2019 and was publicly disclosed by the KVUE Defenders and the Austin American-Statesman last year as part of an ongoing investigation of the department that focused on its relationship with the now-defunct reality show.
Hernandez was released from the Williamson County Jail on May 17 under a $10,000 bond. The former deputy faces two charges in connection to the 2019 domestic ᴠɪᴏʟᴇпᴄᴇ call: one count of official oppression and one count of ɑѕѕɑᴜʟт.
Hernandez previously did not personally respond to KXAN’s requests for interviews and comment in previous reports naming him. After he watched Sheriff Mike Gleason’s press conference announcing his ɑггᴇѕт, the former deputy asked to be interviewed.
“I’ve tarnished the badge,” Hernandez told KXAN investigative reporter Jody Barr during an interview in a Cedar Park park.
“I lost her. I lost her in my service to her, and that’s something I can’t get back, and that’s something I’ll carry with me. Regardless of whether I’m allowed to return to law enforcement or not, it’s just something that I have to accept and something that I did,” Hernandez said of how he decided to handle the domestic ᴠɪᴏʟᴇпᴄᴇ victim in 2019.
The entire call was captured on Williamson County body cameras.
It took the Texas Rangers 20 months to finish its investigation, and Hernandez resigned after Chody lost his re-election bid to now-Sheriff Mike Gleason.
Chody’s administration conducted an internal investigation into Hernandez’s actions and suspended him for one day. Hernandez was the sheriff’s training officer at the time of the domestic ᴠɪᴏʟᴇпᴄᴇ call. Just two months later, Chody promoted Hernandez to detective.
“This one took a long time, because it just kind of stalled,” Gleason told reporters during the May 17 announcement. “We couldn’t get the answers that we wanted to, because the female ᴠɪᴄтɪᴍ in this video has been гᴇʟᴜᴄтɑпт to cooperate — and rightly so. So we hope the ɑггᴇѕт today will be a symbolic olive branch to her that we are serious about the way we treat domestic ᴠɪᴏʟᴇпᴄᴇ ᴠɪᴄтɪᴍ in this county, and we will move forward. And hopefully this will be the catalyst to get her cooperation to come forward, since she knows we’re serious about prosecuting this officer.”
When KXAN contacted the victim in September 2020 she would not agree to an interview. The Texas Rangers were also working to interview her at the time and were unsuccessful.
Gleason said the video was “prima facia” evidence Hernandez committed a ᴄгɪᴍᴇ.
Hernandez denies anything he did in the call was ᴄгɪᴍɪпɑʟ, but did admit he regretted how he handled the call.
He told KXAN, “I messed up, I made a mistake.”
Here is the full video: