Attorney Files Complaint for Hollywood Cop Shot in Head

Hernandez, on his feet a year after the shooting.
The wheels of justice often turn at an agonizingly slow pace. Two years after 29-year-old BSO officer Maury Hernandez was shot in the head by a felon on parole, his lawyer, Lance Block, sent the first formal complaint and two discovery requests to the Broward Clerk's office last month -- naming the Florida Department of Corrections as defendant. Officer Hernandez had stopped the shooter, David Maldonado, after he ran three red lights on Pembroke Road in Hollywood. Maldonado turned a .45 caliber handgun on Hernandez, firing directly at his head, then jumping off his motorcycle and fleeing on foot.

In a surprising twist, Hernandez's lawyer, Block, is the same attorney who in another case is representing Eric Brody against BSO. Brody was injured in a crash with a BSO deputy in 1998.

In the Hernandez case, the shooter, Maldonado, was caught later at his apartment; he is now serving a life sentence for attempted murder of a police officer. After a couple of years of surgeries and therapy, Hernandez's prognosis looks good.

Maldonado was on parole and packing a gun that both his parole officers, Daunte Foster and Rhoda White, were aware that he owned. According to the complaint, Foster was new on the job -- he'd been at it only four months -- and he was carrying a caseload of 100. Maldonado told Foster he needed the gun because he was working as a security guard, and even more weirdly, that he was a U.S. Marine. Maldonado had also tested positive for drugs. Parole officers are under strict requirements to report both possession of a firearm and drug use by a parolee under the state's "zero tolerance policy."

Foster and White never checked out Maldonado's incredible employment stories. If they had, they would have learned he was lying. And that would have saved Maury Hernandez a headache he's still recovering from.

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