Report on inmate’s death released


A custodial death report was released by the Office of the Attorney General of Texas last Friday, detailing the charges faced and events leading up to Ernesto Alonzo Gonzalez’s suicide in the custody of the San Benito Police Dept.

According to a press release from the City of San Benito released three days after the incident, Gonzalez, 34, was found unresponsive in his cell on Nov. 23 at 2:30 a.m.

The custodial report states that Gonzalez was arrested for theft of under $2,500 with two previous convictions at 4:28 p.m. on Nov. 22.

Gonzales awaited arraignment on his charges while being held alone at a jail cell at the SBPD, the report continues.

The summary continues: at 2:55 a.m., Officer Manuel Cisneros entered the jail area for a bathroom break and to conduct a jail check when he noticed, as he passed by Gonzalez’s cell, that Gonzalez had wrapped his shirt around his neck and was hanging from a rail.

Officer Cisneros immediately informed the Patrol Supervisor. Both Cisneros and Officer Jose Benavides, who arrived to assist, cut the shirt and moved Gonzalez to the ground. Officer Cisneros described Gonzales as “limp and cold to the touch.”

Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length. To read the full story, click here or make sure to grab a copy of the Dec. 20-26, 2019 issue of the NEWS.

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1 comment

    • Memo RODRIGUEZ on January 3, 2020 at 10:10 am
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    Looks like the city press release omitted some details or they did not have the information at the time. Mr. Gonzalez last interaction with a police officer was at about 10:00 pm. Mr. Gonzalez was found by a officer at about 2:55 am unresponsive. Looks like Mr. Gonzalez was not checked on for almost 5hrs. This is according to a VMS news article. I maybe wrong but it’s my understanding that the prisoners are checked every hr on the hr by a police officer. And the Pd dispatcher has TV monitors that has a view of the jail cells. It looks like Police Protocol was not followed and maybe just maybe a life could have been saved.

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