GEORGETOWN, Texas - A former Williamson County Sheriff's Office deputy has been charged in connection to his use of force when he responded to a domestic disturbance call in September 2019.
Officials say Lorenzo Herndanez, Jr. was arrested and booked into the Williamson County Jail this week. He's been charged with official oppression and assault. Hernandez, Jr. is a former detective with the sheriff's office who resigned on January 3, 2021.
The charges stem from an incident that happened on September 21, 2019. Hernandez, Jr. was on duty as a patrol deputy and responded to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment in the 7000 block of West Parmer Lane in Williamson County.
The Williamson County Sheriff's Office says that during the limited time that Hernandez was at the apartment, "he intentionally and unlawfully subjected the victim to mistreatment, detention, and an illegal search."
"Specifically, upon arrival, Hernandez immediately approached the victim, grabbed her by the throat and shoved her against the wall and then conducted an unlawful search of her residence," the sheriff's office says.
Hernandez resigned before current Williamson County Sheriff Mike Gleason took over in January. This week, Sheriff Gleason spoke about how there is change in Williamson County since he took over and gone are the ways of the old administration.
"We have 600 employees who come to work every day at the sheriff’s office, they do not conduct their business that way. They are mindful of their duties they do it legally and they do it right. I do not want this officer to represent the other employees that work here," said Sheriff Gleason.
Gleason is hopeful the victim sees this arrest as a sign of change in the sheriff’s office. "The victim in this video has been reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement so we are hoping this arrest is will serve as a symbol and olive branch to her that we are serious with how we treat domestic violence victims in the county," said Gleason.
The previous administration suspended Hernandez for one day following the incident which Gleason felt was not enough. "Suspension is designed for you to think about what you’ve done wrong not just come right back to work. Nothing was done. To come back and be promoted 2 months later that’s ridiculous."
Williamson County has been in the hot seat due to the actions of sheriff deputies and staff over the recent years, like the death of Javier Ambler. Gleason blamed the selection process the previous administration had when it came to hiring.
"These people were hired because they were yes people and they would do the bidding of the administration and were rogue and not disciplined. If all these officers would have been disciplined with the first strike then we could have cut it off but as you can tell they got bolder and bolder until where we are at today," said Gleason.