HOUSTON - A woman has been charged with intoxicated assault after allegedly hitting one police officer and forcing him and his partner to jump off the Southwest Freeway.
DWI Task Force Officers Roshad Carter and Carlos Herrera had stopped near Newcastle around 3 a.m. Friday to investigate an unrelated crash. They used their patrol car to block the exit ramp.
Investigators say 25-year-old Bianca Bennett's car drove past the patrol car and hit Officer Carter. He and Herrera were forced to jump about 15 feet to the ground to avoid being hit again, according to HPD.
“You’ve got essentially a 3,000-, 4,000-, 10,000-pound weapon coming straight at these officers,” said HPD Sgt. Thomas Fendia. “There’s absolutely nothing that they can do.”
The driver involved in the original accident saw the whole thing happen.
"The police officers are taking my information when another car, she was drunk, had a collision with my car," Jose Tzul said. "Almost dead the officers."
Tzul said his car had been rear-ended by a hit-and-run driver.
"I'm coming from my job in the morning, but one car crushed me in the back and threw me around on the freeway," Tzul said.
A couple of Houston Fire Department paramedics who had stopped to check on Tzul may have saved the HPD officers' lives and nearly got hurt themselves.
Firefighter Wesley Pleasant saw Bennett's coming toward them and yelled, “Watch out!”
"At first, I didn't think anybody heard me, but apparently they did but it made me feel good nobody got injured from this incident," said Pleasant, a 13-year veteran with HFD.
Firefighter Lionel Garcia, Pleasant's partner, says he pushed himself into the HPD patrol unit, and Bennett's car missed him by two feet.
"After it passed, I was like, 'Phew,' and now I'm going to go check on my partner and the police officers," said Garcia, a 4-year veteran with HFD.
“Thank God for the firefighters,” Fendia said.
Houston police plan to nominate Pleasant and Garcia for an HFD “Act of Valor” award.
“I’m not a hero,” Pleasant said. “You would do the same thing if you saw somebody in danger.”
At last check, Carter, a 9-year veteran with HPD, remained hospitalized with an ankle injury and is expected to be released over the weekend. Herrera, a 3-year veteran, was treated and released.
Bennett is being held in jail on a $50,000 bond.
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