Prosecutors say man who hit officer passed breathalyzer but failed other sobriety tests

Thursday, September 28, 2017 04:52PM
Man accused of hitting officer released from jail, Marla Carter reports.


HOUSTON, Texas - The 79-year-old man accused of plowing through a traffic stop and running over a Houston police officer made his first court appearance Thursday.

Robert Zimmerman is charged with intoxication assault of a public servant for allegedly hitting Officer Nestor Garcia.

According to court documents, Zimmerman told officers he drank one 24-ounce beer around 5:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, around the same time he had dinner.

The documents also show Zimmerman claims he takes a heart medication and a sleeping pill but was unable to remember the names. He also told investigators he hadn't taken the sleeping medication since Monday night, according to the report.

Court records show man not drunk


The crash happened just after 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Investigators are waiting for toxicology results to determine whether he was impaired at the time of the crash.

A prosecutor who specializes in vehicular crimes said Zimmerman was slurring his speech and seemed "detached" from the whole situation.

Prosecutors say Zimmerman passed his breathalyzer test but failed other field sobriety tests.

ABC13 asked if Zimmerman even realized he hit someone and Prosecutor Sean Teare said that's unclear.

"Whether it's prescription medication, whether it's illicit drugs, we just don't know yet. We have to wait on the toxicology to determine the specific type. In general though, it does not matter whether it's a prescription drug, illicit drug, alcohol, if you are intoxicated and you get behind the wheel, we're going to prosecute you," said Teare.

Court records say Zimmerman believed police cars passed him when investigators say Officer Garcia and two other patrol units were stopped.

Zimmerman has posted $30,000 bond and is being processed right now before being released.

Prosecutors have petitioned for the judge to raise it to $100,000.

Officer Garcia is in critical, but stable condition.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo is urging anyone interested in donating blood to help Officer Garcia to do so using the code 1879CH31.

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