Deputy Fired over Deadly Denny’s Fight

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has terminated Chauna Thompson in the wake of a fight in a Denny’s parking lot where one man died.

Four others will be disciplined in the matter.

The incident occurred in May, when an off-duty Thompson and her husband met at a restaurant on the Crosby Freeway in east Harris County for a late night meal.  Terry Thompson confronted a man – later identified as John Hernandez – who was urinating in the parking lot.  The confrontation led to a fight that left Hernandez in a coma.  He was removed from life support several days later.  A family attorney claims he died from an ‘illegal chokehold.’

Thompson’s lawyer says she will appeal her termination.  She and her husband are scheduled to appear in criminal court in September.  Thompson claims Hernandez started the fight, and she performed CPR as soon as she noticed he was not breathing.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez released the following statement:

“I have strong confidence in the leadership of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the rank-and-file deputies who put their lives on the line every day to protect our community. However, we will learn from the tragic death of John Hernandez.

“While our in-depth investigation uncovered no evidence of nefarious actions on the part of our on-duty personnel who worked the initial incident scene, we did find areas in which we must improve as a department.

“I will continue reviewing best practices to implement changes aimed at improving scene management and other aspects of our operation.

“We will also ensure that all appropriate personnel receive the support and training they need in order to meet the high standards we set for ourselves.”

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