Owyhee County sheriff’s deputies and Homedale police called to a report of a home invasion Sunday found Allen Hernandez, 23, fighting three residents of a house on River Road, northwest of town.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Hernandez, 23, then briefly struggled with law enforcement before he stopped breathing and had to be taken to a hospital. He died Tuesday at Boise’s Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, authorities said, prompting an investigation that includes agencies in three counties.
Events as described Thursday by law enforcement start with a car crash sometime before 4 a.m. Sunday.
Hernandez was “involved in a minor traffic accident,” then entered the home a quarter-mile away where he asked to use a phone, according to an Owyhee County press release. Hernandez called 911 and told dispatchers he wanted to go home before hanging up. Then a fight started between Hernandez and one of the three residents of the home, the release states.
Dispatchers called the phone number back and reached a resident of the home, who told them about the fight. Homedale police, the Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office and the Owyhee County Posse responded to the home, said Owyhee County Chief Deputy Lynn Bowman.
When police arrived the fight was still going, Bowman said. Hernandez was being held down, but was still lashing out, according to the press release.
The deputies then took over restraining Hernandez — the release describes it as an attempt “to keep (him) from injuring himself.” Hernandez struggled with officers for “a while,” Bowman said. Asked for further details, Bowman said he couldn’t provide specific details about the fight.
He did say law enforcement did not use any weapons, only restraints. Hernandez sustained injuries to his face or head, Bowman said.
According to the release Hernandez “quit breathing on his own” while still restrained. Personnel at the scene, including paramedics with Homedale Ambulance, performed CPR.
Hernandez was taken first to West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell, then Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. He died at the latter hospital at 6:43 p.m. Tuesday, according to an Ada County Coroner’s Office report. The office performed an autopsy, but in a statement said, “the cause of death is pending further studies.” That effort could take several weeks, authorities said.
The coroner’s office released the notice of Hernandez’s death Wednesday. Owyhee County authorities declined requests for comment until Thursday morning.
The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office is helping Owyhee County investigate the home invasion. The Ada County coroner is investigating the circumstances that led to Hernandez’s death.