Former BSO deputy shoots man
MIAMI LAKES, Fla. (WSVN) -- A retired Broward Sheriff's Office deputy says he was forced to open fire on a homeless man after the man threatened his family, Saturday.
According to police, a homeless man began harassing former Broward Sheriff's deputy Maury Hernandez and his family outside of a Haagen-Dazs along Northwest 67th Avenue. "A verbal dispute, and he was being very aggressive. He began at that point to escalate and swing at the victim," said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta.
Witnesses heard the man threatening Hernandez and his children. "He told me, 'He want to take my baby, he want to take my baby.' The guy, he wanted to take the baby," said witness Sandra Ballejo.
The well-known homeless man continued to trouble customers and families who were outside eating ice cream. "He was kind of grumpy, then my manager went inside and told another guy to call the police, so they actually called the police," said Orlando Cervantes, manager of Casavana Cuban Restaurant.
Police said they were already responding to the store when the man began targeting the children and the fight became physical. "At the time when his aggression goes toward the children, you don't know what his intentions are," said Zabaleta. "Just like we were just asked, 'Was it intention to take it?' It's hard to say because when you see somebody turn and turn aggression toward children, you're assuming that's what he is trying to do but of course as parents our nature is defend the children."
Hernandez tried to convince the man to walk away for several minutes, but the man became more persistent and violent. Hernandez then pulled out his gun and shot the man several times. "He said, 'Sorry, sorry. I don't want to do this. I don't want to do this.' The police said, 'Stay over there, stay over there, don't move,'" said Ballejo.
The defensive father is no stranger to gunfire. Hernandez survived a gunshot wound to the head during a routine traffic stop in 2007 while working for BSO.
Rescue crews airlifted the man to Ryder Trauma Center, where he is expected to be OK.
Police said Hernandez was within his legal rights to fire the shots. "It's a constitutional right in this country to carry a firearm," said Zabaleta. "If you do carry a firearm, and you are permitted to, then you are allowed to use it if in fact you feel that your life is in danger."
Officials are conducting an investigation.
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