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Police: Man Shot Himself, Then Lied About It

South Bethlehem man told cops that he was shot fending off a robbery, but later admitted that the gun he was carrying in his waistband fired accidentally, police say.

 

A South Bethlehem man who accidentally shot himself in the thigh, then lied about the incident to police has been arrested on weapons charges and other counts, according to court records.

David Hernandez, 19, of 1543 E. Eighth St., shot himself when the small-caliber pistol he was carrying in the elastic waistband of his basketball shorts began to slip out and he grabbed for the weapon and caused it to fire, the arrest warrant says.

Initially, Hernandez told police he was wounded when he scuffled with a robber who pulled a gun on him. At 19, Hernandez is not allowed to have a handgun, nor does he have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, the affidavit says.

According to court records:

  • Hernandez walked into the emergency room of St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill a little after 8 p.m. Aug. 16 and reported that he had been shot in the right thigh.
  • Hernandez told officers who reported to the hospital that he was walking in the 1800 block of Stefko Boulevard, to the rear of a Dollar General store, when someone stuck a handgun into the right side of his torso and told him he was being robbed.
  • Hernandez said he grabbed for the gun and his and the robber’s hand when into his right pocket and the gun fired.
  • Police told Hernandez they would attempt to verify his story through video surveillance from cameras trained on the rear of the store.
  • Hernandez then admitted that he had accidentally shot himself. He said the safety on the gun was “bad.”
  • Hernandez told police that he had given the gun to a friend to “throw in the river,” after the incident. But he admitted that he could not be certain that the friend did that and that he might have held onto it. He also could not give police the name of the person he gave it to.

Hernandez was arrested Friday and charged with carrying firearms without a license, a third-class felony; possessing the instrument of a crime; tampering with evidence, and giving false reports to law enforcement.

It was unclear from the court record why the arrest came five months after the incident. He was arraigned before District Judge Patricia Romig-Passaro and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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