Huntington Park woman punched by police officer as her home was burning

Leticia Juarez Image
Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Huntington Park woman punched by cop as her home burned
A Huntington Park woman says a police officer punched her in the face as the home she shared with her parents was on fire.

HUNTINGTON PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- A Fourth of July celebration turned into a nightmare for a Huntington Park family after their apartment caught fire and ended with an arrest.

The incident unfolded just after 10 p.m. when a neighbor alerted the Hernandez family their garage was on fire. The flames quickly spread despite efforts to douse the blaze.

Cellphone video captured Adriana Hernandez running toward the apartment she shared with her parents for 27 years. But just as she screams out for her father to leave she is stopped by a police officer.

Seconds later, a female police officer is seen punching Hernandez.

"She did not care. She just grabbed me from my shirt, she literally ripped my rosary and started striking me in the face three times," recalled Hernandez.

The incident has left Hernandez traumatized and bruised. She says at the time she was holding her cellphone, calling her upstairs neighbor to evacuate and running to grab her father as he tried to save his photography equipment.

Hernandez says she not only lost her home that night but also her freedom. She was arrested and charged with felony resisting arrest.

"It just felt like everything was being taken away from me that fast and it wasn't even my fault," Hernandez told Eyewitness News.

Hernandez, who is studying civil engineering, is worried the criminal charge will impact her future prospects.

But even more pressing is where her family will live. Hernandez says both her parents are diabetic, and the family needs to replace her father's photography equipment so he can work again.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family recover.

"Everyone is reaching out just asking what way they can help out. I really appreciate that," Hernandez said.

Eyewitness News reached out to the Huntington Park Police Department regarding the incident captured on cellphone video.

In response, the department issued the following statement:

"The incident is under administrative review to determine the full facts and circumstances resulting in the use of force to ensure compliance with department policy."