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Man accused of driving car into beauty salon arrested, detained by ICE

A man who is accused of running his car into a Lafayette beauty salon Sunday morning claimed he was having a seizure, but police said officer and witness statements suggest that is "not factual."

Posted: Jun 10, 2019 10:51 AM
Updated: Jun 11, 2019 6:18 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A man who is accused of running his car into a Lafayette beauty salon Sunday morning claimed he was having a seizure, but police said officer and witness statements suggest that is "not factual."

Police arrested Juan Antonio Hernandez, 37 of Lafayette, on preliminary charges including criminal recklessness, resisting law enforcement and operating while never receiving a license. Police said there is an ICE detainer on Hernandez, and they believe he has been in the country illegally for two to three years.

Hernandez has posted a $500 bond, according to the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Bob Goldsmith said Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities have 48 hours to take Hernandez into custody. If they don't, he will be released from jail until his trial. 

Goldsmith said it's a regulation for the Tippecanoe County jail to contact ICE when a person not born in the U.S. has been arrested.

According to Goldsmith, Hernandez will still need to go through a trial even if he's in ICE custody. If he's convicted of any charges he will have to serve his time, and if ICE seeks a warrant for Hernandez they can take him into custody after.

Hernandez does not have a trial scheduled yet.

Officers said around 10:30 a.m., Hernandez allegedly drove his car into Beauty Zone Salon on Greenbush Street and Sagamore Parkway. Salon owner Malena Salazar told News 18 the driver kept pressing the gas after he'd already crashed through the building. 

When police arrived, Sgt. Mike Brown said Hernandez refused to get out the vehicle and tried to drive away. When that was unsuccessful, officers broke the window and took Hernandez out of the car. An officer hurt his hand while breaking the window, according to police.

Brown said officers initially thought Hernandez was under the influence of alcohol, based off his state after the crash. However, a preliminary toxicology test at the hospital came back negative. 

Police said Hernandez didn't have any connection to the salon. He claimed he was an epileptic and was seizing during the crash. The people in the salon at the time of the crash and officers on scene observed behavior that was inconsistent with Hernandez's claim.

Hernandez allegedly presented officers with a Mexican government-issued ID, according to police. 

The Lafayette city engineer determined the building was structurally sound after the crash. 

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