On April 10, 2019, Leander resident Spencer Murphy “called 911 for EMS due to a head wound” he had sustained when a tool he was using for home repairs malfunctioned. According to Murphy’s Facebook post recounting the incident, Williamson County Sheriff Officers arrived first. The person Murphy calls the, the “primary deputy” in his facebook post about the incident and in the formal complaint he filed is Lorenzo Hernandez, the same deputy that made headlines last week for what many believe amounted to brutalizing a possible victim of domestic violence.
Following are highlights of the incident taken from Murphy’s recent statement on Facebook and Williamson County Sheriff’s Department documents that he obtained and made available to the well-known WCSO watchdog blogger, Buddy Falcon:
At the time the officers arrived, Murphy says he “had already cancelled the call and was in the process of taking [himself] to the Hospital.” He says, “I walked up to the Deputy and his partner to let them know don’t worry I canceled [the call for EMS] and was taking myself to the hospital.”
The deputies, according to Spencer, began making demands which quickly escalated to use of force: “The Primary Deputy started demanding I take a seat. I was informing him I was good standing when he continued demanding I sit. Then… after I told him a tool broke and hit me in the face I was slammed down to the ground.”
“The Primary Deputy then took out my phone and threw it in the rocks. He also took out my Flashlight (StreamLight Strion) which is still missing. He then went to question my [girlfriend] if I had been abusing her hitting her etc… I was then un-cuffed and in the process I had asked the Deputy what the Event/Cause number was but he told me, ‘There is not one. This is an EMS call.’ I had to call Dispatch and get one my self as he refused to give me one.”
Williamson Reporter left two voicemails at the Sheriff’s office and sent a Facebook message to Sheriff Robert Chody requesting a response to Murphy’s statements. Neither Chody or Williamson County Sheriff’s Office have responded at this time. The department did perform an internal investigation and “exonerated” both Hernandez and another involved deputy, citing the county’s incorrectly dispatching the call for service as a contributing factor in its mishandling.
Murphy sees it differently, “I do respect Sheriff Chody but no matter what I will NOT allow my rights or anyone else’s to be violated. It was clear I was a victim. There are other ways to handle this type of situation.”