HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Hillsborough County detention deputy Daniel Hernandez has only been on the job for 11 months at the jail.
He’s already gone through something many deputies never endure, an attack by an inmate.
On February 28, Hernandez was performing his normal duties in a detention pod with 72 inmates.
From all indications, it was a normal day.
“There is different categories of inmates in there. As low as violation of probation, all the way up to murder,” said Hernandez, who was providing security for a nurse who was giving medication to inmates in the facility.
Suddenly and without warning, one of the inmates threw a towel around Hernandez’s neck and tried to choke him.
“At the moment, I felt a towel go around my neck from behind. Also, a right leg tried to kick me out from behind,” said Hernandez.
The attack was quick. Hernandez had little time to react.
“Wasn’t really thinking at the time. I reacted. I resorted back to the training that I was given,” said the deputy.
Even now, he doesn’t know what provoked the inmate.
“I do not know why and I can’t sit here and speculate on why,” said Hernandez.
His supervisor at the jail says attacks like this on deputies are rare.
Hernandez said he has made a change while in the detention pod.
“My awareness is a lot more heightened at this date,” said Hernandez, just before he returned to work.