Deputy Found Dead was Positive for COVID-19

photo of Deputy Timothy De La Fuente
Deputy Timothy De La Fuente

Bexar County Deputy Found Dead in His Home

A deputy with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office was found dead in his home. Deputy Timothy De La Fuente was found by his wife Thursday morning. The 27 year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office had been tested on Tuesday for the coronavirus as part of the mass testing that is being done on all employees and inmates.

At the time he was tested, De La Fuente was not showing any signs of illness but he called in sick on Wednesday and Thursday. He was attempting to see a doctor on Thursday but died before he was able to and before finding out he was positive for COVID-19. The Metropolitan Health District attempted to contact him on Thursday to inform him of his positive reading but by then it was too late. At this time it is unknown if the virus caused his death but at the very least, this is a COVID related death.

Dangers of Being a Detention Officer

Deputy De La Fuente was assigned to the Bexar County Jail. He was well aware of the dangers he faced having been attacked by an inmate several years ago. We were unable to determine which attack reported in the media was the one made on De La Fuente (since the names of the officers are not given) so are unable to give you details. De La Fuente recovered from his attack and was working an area of the jail that had been designated as a hot spot.

It’s understandable that you could think that meant it was an area where the inmates were more violent but in this case it means an area where a lot of inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. According to Sheriff Javier Salazar, Deputy De La Fuente did have underlying medical conditions. All we can figure from that comment is either they weren’t so severe that De La Fuente needed to be assigned to a safer area or the Sheriff’s Office continued with it’s approach of treating every as “just a number” and didn’t care about De La Fuente’s health and safety.

Condolences to the Family and Friends of Deputy De La Fuente

We would like to extend our condolences to the family of Deputy Timothy De La Fuente, to his brothers and sisters in blue and to any others who knew him. His dedication to his job and service to our community are appreciated and his loss will be deeply felt. We are glad that he is being given a line of duty death designation and that the flags have been lowered to half-staff to honor him.

I have a lot of anger over Sheriff Salazar’s statement that he has always been interested in testing and the inference that he cares about what happens to the employees and inmates in the Bexar County Jail, but out of respect for the De La Fuente family, I’ll save that for another time.

You can read the full KSAT article and watch the video at this link.

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