‘She Lives There!’: California Cop Repeatedly Punches Woman for Trying to Rescue Father from Burning Home, Then Slaps Her with Felony for Resisting

A Southern California woman was punched in the face several times by a Huntington Park police officer after she tried to save her father from a burning home on the Fourth of July.

Adriana Hernandez, 27, is now facing a felony charge of resisting arrest — which is usually a misdemeanor — but in this case, it appears the police officer is trying to cover up for her actions, according to a retired cop who now works as a victim’s advocate.

“Normally, when an officer strikes someone in the face, they’re doing it because the person is attacking the officer or going after their weapon,” retired LAPD Detective Moses Castillo explained to Fox 11.

California Woman Punched By Cop Three Times and Charged with Felony for Trying to Rescue Father from Burning Home
Adriana Hernandez’s family apartment burned down on July 4, 2024. (Photo: GoFundMe)

However, the cellphone video of the incident shows Hernandez did none of that.

“I never hit her… that was never the point to fight. I just wanted to be with my dad,” she told Fox 11.

The fire broke out in the apartment Hernandez shared with her parents her entire life a little after 10 p.m. on Independence Day due to “outdated electrical wiring,” according to the GoFundMe page that is raising money for the family in the wake of the fire that destroyed their apartment but spared their lives.

Hernandez said a neighbor alerted her to the fire, so she ran to the home to save her father, a professional photographer who was trying to salvage his photography equipment to maintain work.

However, she was stopped by a female officer who stopped her from entering the apartment.

“Hey, she lives there! She lives there!” a bystander can heard in the video telling the cop.

But the video shows the cop punching Hernandez in the face three times.

“The officer saw the situation, there was so much emotion,” Hernandez told Fox 11. “She could have easily hugged me and said, ‘Hey, stop, you can’t go right there.’ 

“But no, she immediately started being aggressive. She ripped my shirt and hit me multiple times. I kept telling her to stop. She was a little bit shorter than me, and I pushed her away because I wanted her to stop hitting me, but she just wouldn’t.”

The Huntington Park Police Department has not released the name of the female officer nor any other information about the incident except to say, “the incident is under administrative review to determine the full facts and circumstances resulting in the use of force to ensure compliance with department policy.”

City officials from Huntington Park, a city in Los Angeles County with a population of about 55,000 mostly Hispanic residents, told local media “we aim to provide a fair and just process for all parties involved.”

But the family is now homeless because their landlord told them repairing the apartment would take a long time.

Hernandez, who is studying to become a civil engineer, is concerned the felony charge will affect her future prospects.

While resisting arrest is normally a misdemeanor in California, punishable by no more than a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, felony resisting arrest is punishable by up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000, according to a Southern California lawyer’s website.

“It just felt like everything was being taken away from me that fast, and it wasn’t even my fault,” Hernandez told ABC 7.

Hernandez launched her GoFundMe drive on Monday and has raised nearly $12,000 as of this writing.

My family experienced a significant loss as a result of outdated electrical wiring, leading to a fire that destroyed our apartment. As an only child juggling studies at ELAC College and employment at In & Out to assist my parents, the events of July 4 were particularly distressing. Adding to our challenges, I was subjected to excessive force by a police officer, who unjustifiably struck me three times. Your support would be greatly valued by my family as we navigate homelessness. As well help my father’s work photography equipment. Thank you for your consideration. Please keep us in your prayers.

Castillo, the former cop turned victim’s advocate, was the first person to respond, donating $100 to her cause.

“It’s sad. I hope that Huntington Park Police Department makes it right, drops all the charges, and apologizes,” he told Fox 11.

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