A budding rapper and father to five children died after a window of a home he was trying to burglarize collapsed onto his neck, leaving his body dangling outside of the house, according to sheriff’s deputies.
Jonathan Hernandez, 32, was trying to burglarize a home in the southwestern Florida town of Lehigh Acres on Saturday when the fatal accident occurred, investigators said.
As Hernandez scaled the wall of the home, he opened a window and was in the process of climbing through when it slammed down onto his neck, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
By the time deputies arrived on the scene, Hernandez was dead, his right arm hanging at his side while his entire body was limp as his head was stuck in the window at a height of some 5.5ft off the ground.
Hernandez was known to his friends and fans as ‘Taz UFO’ or ‘UFO’ and several rap videos in which he sings could be found on YouTube.
Jonathan Hernandez, 32, of Lehigh Acres, Florida, died on Saturday after investigators said a window closed on his neck while he was trying to burglarize a home
Investigators said Hernandez was trying to burglarize a home on Nora Avenue and 46th Street SW in Lehigh Acres on Saturday
As Hernandez scaled the wall of the home, he opened a window and was in the process of climbing through when it slammed down onto his neck, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office
The home that Hernandez is alleged to have tried to burglarize is seen above in Lehigh Acres, Florida
The sheriff’s office said that Hernandez has a lengthy history of run-ins with the law.
A public records search indicates that Hernandez, who also went by the name Jonathan Hernandez-Zuluaga, has been booked on several occasions for theft and larceny as well as driving without a license.
Sheriff’s deputies also said that Hernandez was recently questioned as part of a 2014 murder case. No details were provided.
Those who knew him, however, said that Hernandez was a kind person.
‘When I first met him, I was like, “Man he looks like he has a rap sheet like El Chapo”,’ his fiancee, Patricia Duarte, told WBBH-TV.
The sheriff’s office said that Hernandez has a lengthy history of run-ins with the law, including arrests for theft and larceny as well as driving without a license
Patricia Duarte, Hernandez’s fiancee, said that when she met him, she thought that ‘he looks like he has a rap sheet like El Chapo.’ Duarte is seen above with Hernandez and four of their five children
‘And he’s the complete opposite of that. He’s the sweetest person you’d probably ever meet and has the biggest heart.’
Tyson Lane, a friend of Hernandez, describes a man who was generous and outgoing.
‘He liked to have a good time,’ Lane said.
‘When he walked into the room, his smile just bright up everybody.
‘And he just get along with everybody.’
Lane doesn’t accept the sheriff’s deputies’ explanation that Hernandez died while trying to burglarize a home.
‘He is not a burglar. He’s not a thief. He’s not a bad guy,’ Lane said.
‘That’s not what he is.’
But Duarte said that her fiance was ‘the complete opposite’ of a criminal. ‘He’s the sweetest person you’d probably ever meet and has the biggest heart,’ she said.
Lane added: ‘If he had a roof over his head and you didn’t, he would give you a roof over your head, bring you in his household.
‘That’s something that he did for a lot of people including myself.’
Duarte also said she doesn’t believe the investigators’ claims. She said she went to the home to have a look for herself.
‘Soon as I got there I’m like, “There’s no way. This isn’t what happened”,’ she said.
Duarte added: ‘I just need something to be done the right way. I need a proper investigation.
‘I need the actual truth to come to light.’
On Facebook and online, Duarte has been soliciting donations from supporters asking to help pay for funeral costs for Hernandez.
‘It hurts to even write this,’ Duarte wrote on a GoFundMe page she founded.
‘Taz has left to a better place. He leaves behind 5 beautiful children he loved with his entire heart and soul.
‘He was destined to be GREAT beyond great at that I know his close friends will ensure his music lives on.’
Tyson Lane (left), a friend of Hernandez, describes a man who was generous and outgoing. Both Lane and Duarte (seen right with Hernandez and one of their children) don’t believe the authorities’ allegations that Hernandez was trying to burglarize a home