Family of UCSF medical student killed at Temple nightclub devastated by his death 

As they made plans to bury 30-year-old Joey Hernandez this week, the grieving family of the UC San Francisco student who was beaten to death in a vicious brawl at a South of Market nightclub called on police to solve the “senseless” killing.

Only months away from graduating medical school, the 30-year-old Hernandez was declared brain dead after suffering head trauma following a fight at the Temple nightclub on Jan. 9.

The killing has shocked the UCSF campus and devastated Hernandez’s family.

“We want the person who killed my brother to know that he killed a good person, a nonviolent person,” an emotional Tonia Baca, of San Diego, said this week.

A rosary and eulogy for Hernandez, a San Bernardino native, was set for Thursday in the Temecula area, with the burial and funeral reception Friday, Baca said.

Hernandez loved dancing at nightclubs but hadn’t been to one in more than a year due to the rigors of medical school, Baca said. Right before he was beaten to death, he and a fellow fourth-year medical student chatted at the club about their futures.

“They were talking about rotations, graduation, talking about what type of medicine they were going to practice,” Baca said.

Hernandez’s friend told Baca the attack was unprovoked. The suspects, described by police only as Asian males, had been sitting on a wall in the club.

“All got up from the wall, and charged at him,” Baca said. “His friend was bewildered.”

Police responded around 1:05 a.m. to a call that Hernandez was unconscious following a fight. About 20 minutes later, while cops tended to Hernandez, a second fight erupted inside the club. Two clubgoers who had been stabbed with broken beer bottles flagged down officers. The suspects fled, and there have been no arrests.

The club, located at 540 Howard St., has a maximum capacity of 356 on the first floor and 350 downstairs. After the incidents, the San Francisco Entertainment Commission ordered the club to discontinue serving bottled beer on Friday and Saturday nights starting Jan. 26.

The commission also ordered the club to double its number of cameras from 32 to 64 in order to cover “blind spots.”

It’s unclear if the club’s video cameras captured the assault on Hernandez. Police have remained tight-lipped about their investigation.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Taking precautions  

The Entertainment Commission has ordered the Temple nightclub to take the following measures to improve security at the venue:

  • Install ID scanners, and scan all patrons entering the club
  • Install enhanced surveillance at entrance
  • Discontinue beer bottle service to patrons Friday and Saturday night
  • Add more video cameras inside and outside the club; security system will be expanded to 64 cameras from the current 32
  • Security staff must pat down patrons upon entrance
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Monday, Sep 15, 2014

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