Deputy cruiser crumpled by suspected drunk driver in northwest Harris County

The patrol car was slammed into by another suspected drunk driver
December 31, 2013 3:20:56 PM PST
You can expect officers from agencies across the Houston area will be on the roads keeping a close eye on drivers over the New Year's holiday. Deputies from Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office are using one recent crash as an example of how dangerous drinking and driving can be.

It started as a traffic stop for an impaired driver and ended with a Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constable dodging the path of another suspected drunk driver who rammed into the back of his patrol car late Monday night.

Asst. Chief Mark Herman with the Harris Co. Pct. 4 Constable's Office said, "The men and women of law enforcement, you don't realize how dangerous their job is, until you see a video such as this."

Asst. Chief Herman says dramatic video was captured on dash camera in Corporal Hale's patrol car. Hale was among the deputies working a four day impaired driver initiative on Bammel North Houston when suspected drunk driver George Perez, Jr., slammed into the patrol car, pushing it into the other impaired driver's parked vehicle.

"Thank the man upstairs, I mean, for looking out for him," Asst. Chief Herman said. "He was paying attention. He did what he was supposed to do, react quickly, and in seconds jumped out of the way."

Though Corporal Hale jumped out of the way in the nick of time, the driver he initially pulled over suffered injuries and was rushed to the hospital.

According to Asst. Chief Herman, drunk drivers get tunnel vision and drive toward the flashing lights. He says that's what happened in this case.

Now, investigators say the accused drunk driver, George Perez, Jr., is charged with intoxication assault --his second DWI offense. And they're sending a strong message to the public.

"This will be one of our biggest nights, and we encourage people to not drink and drive, Asst. Chief Herman said. "Be responsible, get a designated driver, call a taxi, do not get behind the wheel if you've been drinking."

Asst. Chief Herman says that's the third Precinct 4 patrol car damaged by a suspected drunk driver in the past month. He says deputies will be out on the roads by the dozens for New Year's Eve.

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