WEATHERFORD -- New dash camera video that shows a dramatic fight between two Weatherford officers and a man coming down from a meth high highlights just how dangerous being a cop can be these days, even in small-town Texas.
The newly released video shows Bryan Hernandez, 39, locked in a brutal struggle with two officers that pulled the man over after 911 calls about a reckless driver.
Hernandez was recently found guilty of assaulting the two men and possessing meth in Parker County District Court. He received a jury sentence of more than 20 years behind bars.
But the actual incident happened last October in the middle of the night as Hernandez was pulled over on an I-20 off ramp.
"That turned into, potentially, a fight for their lives on the side of the road," said Chief Lance Arnold.
Although Hernandez initially appears calm while interacting with the cops, tensions soon flare when they try to place him in handcuffs.
A nearly 90-second struggle ensues with the man throwing the officers back and forth while trying to escape their reach.
The Parker County District Attorney's Office says Hernandez is a "power-lifter" that weighs almost 300 pounds.
The video clearly shows every ounce of the man trying to fend off the officers. One of them is injured in the head, while the other is aggressively bitten on the hand by Hernandez.
"Really no one puts on their uniform, vest and gear and expects or wants to be assaulted," said Arnold.
Although the chief says their department continues to get strong local support from the community, he thinks the larger scrutiny facing law enforcement nationally has had an impact.
"I think there are more opportunities for people to not necessarily always do what we ask, or question the reliability or the lawfulness of what we ask them to do. We see a lot more of that," said Arnold.
Hernandez, who is also a registered sex offender, declined to speak with WFAA from his jail cell about the case.
Arnold says both officers have long since returned to work.
Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain said the case's outcome shows that attacks on Weatherford cops won't be tolerated.
"If you are attacked, we will have your back. We won’t tolerate assaults on our officers,” said Swain.
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