County jail lets visitors return

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Denton County Sheriff's Office
Here is a look at the damage outside the Denton County jail after a man drove his truck into the building Saturday.
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Engineers estimate crash damage will cost at least $20,000

Visitors were again allowed at the Denton County Jail on Monday after a man drove his truck into an outer wall of the facility Saturday.

Rolando Hernandez, 34, of Lewisville is being charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and felony criminal mischief. He may also face charges of driving while intoxicated, said Denton police Sgt. Larry Kish. Bail is set at $100,000 for each of the assault charges and $50,000 for the criminal mischief charge.

Engineers came out Monday morning and estimated the damage would cost more than $20,000 to repair, Kish said.

The man came in to visit his son in the jail around 1:50 p.m. Saturday but was refused entry by a jailer, who reported the man was “extremely under the influence.”

The jailer followed Hernandez and called for backup when he realized the man was getting into his pickup truck.

Hernandez backed his Dodge pickup into two cars before smashing into the backside of pod Unit 16, sheriff’s officials said.

The accident knocked two inmates off their beds and knocked bricks from the wall, Kish said. The damaged area is about 3 1/2 feet wide by 5 feet tall, Kish said.

The two inmates were treated at Denton Regional Medical Center for minor injuries and released, he said. Hernandez also was taken there and released with minor injuries.

The jail’s west wing, which houses 48 inmates, was evacuated after the accident and the inmates were moved to other holding cells.

Surveillance cameras at the jail didn’t capture video of the incident, Kish said. The Denton County Sheriff’s Office is looking for video footage from other departments as well as asking people present at the time if they captured any pictures or video of the incident, he said. An investigation is ongoing.

RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is rmehlhaff@dentonrc.com .


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