HPD public affairs officer charged with DWI after crash while on medication, sources say

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A well-known Houston police officer has been arrested for DWI.

Officer Muzaffar Hassan Siddiqi, 56, worked in the Public Affairs division of the Houston Police Department and was a liaison to the South Asian community.

He was sworn into the force in 1998, and since then, has built a reputation for community involvement. The arrest has shocked many who know him well.

Court records show Siddiqi was driving southbound on I-69 on Monday morning when he allegedly hit a guardrail near Hillcroft. Records show he was seen weaving in and out of traffic.

"He ran straight through a median and damaged his car," said tow truck driver Eric Pushinsky, who was in the area when he saw Siddiqi get in an accident. "I hop on the freeway and as soon as I go to see if he's okay, he starts backing up and driving on the shoulder of the freeway going 20 miles per hour."

Pushinsky continued to follow Siddiqi's car, which he says was weaving in and out of traffic, with a tire falling apart as he drove.

When Siddiqi got to Sterling McCall Toyota on the 9000 block of the Southwest Freeway, Pushinsky says Siddiqi's car was smoking and the tire caught fire.

"He turned in and when he turned in I could see fire from the rim, but I'm trying to get him to stop," said Pushinksy. "They got the fire extinguisher and put the flames out, he had no tire at this point."

For the past 20 years, Siddiqi has been a widely respected public affairs officer.

This time, the court records paint a different picture. Court records show officers on the scene found a number of pills, including Pradaxa, Hydroxyzine, Furosemide, Nexium, and others in his car.

The record shows Siddiqi failed a field sobriety test, but had no alcohol in his system.

"From what it looks like, they found in this officer's vehicle, it doesn't look like they would be causing him to be intoxicated," said well-known DWI attorney Tyler Flood. "So without blood results yet, you just don't know what's at play."

Flood says in Texas, you can be found guilty of DWI even if it's from accidentally taking a wrong dose of prescription medication.

"If you are under the influence of prescription medication you can still be driving while intoxicated," said Flood. However, he added that if this turned out to be a medical condition that the officer suffered, the situation would be much different.

Siddiqi has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.

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