WARNING: The video above is graphic and extremely disturbing to watch.
It was taken by an unnamed eyewitness at a Denny’s in Sheldon, Texas, according to ABC7 News. The altercation began when Terry Thompson, the husband of an unnamed sheriff’s deputy, noticed John Hernandez, who had been drinking that night according to his wife, urinating outside the restaurant. He yelled at Hernandez to stop, and from there, things turned violent and deadly.
It’s unknown at this time who exactly initiated the physical fight that led to Thompson putting Hernandez into a fatal chokehold and his wife holding down the victim’s arm with her knee. At the end of the above video, Hernandez can be seen falling unconscious due to being choked for so long.
What makes the footage even more horrifying is that at least two people, one confirmed to be the daughter of the deputy and her husband, attempt to block the eyewitness from recording the attack and demanded that he stop. Nobody stepped in to break up the fight or help Hernandez out.
The deputy did call for an ambulance afterward, but Hernandez eventually died of his injuries and the death was ruled a homicide by a medical examiner.
Currently, no charges have been pressed and no arrest have been made in the investigation of this altercation. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office called in the Justice Department and state and federal authorities to assist in the investigation before the district attorney decided whether to file charges.
Thompson’s attorney insists that Hernandez was the “initial aggressor” and that his client did “nothing illegal” while “defending himself,” but the victim’s family and their attorney believe that the deputy’s husband should at least be charged for manslaughter, if not murder, based on evidence shown in the above video footage.
UPDATE: CNN reports that the attacker, Terry Thompson, and his wife, Deputy Chauna Thompson, have been indicted by the district attorney on murder charges.