HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -- For the third time in a little more than a month, a Precinct 4 patrol car has been totaled by an alleged drunk driver.
The latest crash happened late Monday night at the 13100 block of Bammel N. Houston. Cpl. Matt Hales had stopped a car for a traffic violation. In a scene captured on his patrol car dashcamera, Hales walks back toward his car only to see another vehicle speeding directly at him in the southbound lanes. He jumps out of the way as the car slams into the back of his patrol car and propels the deputy’s vehicle into the original car he’d stopped.
That first driver suffered a neck injury and had to be taken to a hospital. Cpl. Hales was not hurt nor was the alleged drunk driver who was identified as George Perez Jr. He was jailed on a charge of intoxication assault for what Precinct 4 deputies said was his second DWI.
“He was fleet afoot so to speak to jump out of the way of the vehicle,” said Asst. Chief Mark Herman of Cp. Hales. “If the deputy had not have acted he could have been severely injured.”
Just last week, Precinct 4 announced a beefed up enforcement effort targeting drunk drivers. December 28 through New Year’s Day Precinct 4 deputies will be working closely with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. The DA’s office has staff at the Cypresswood Courthouse during the holidays to help process mandatory blood draws of suspected drunk drivers.
As of New Year’s Eve morning Precinct 4 said it had recorded 10 DWI arrests and issued more than 2,000 traffic citations. And when deputies announced the enforcement emphasis they used a November 7 double-DWI crash as part of their motivation. A female deputy was injured when her car was rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver at FM 1960 and Rayford. An hour later during that crash investigation a second alleged drunk driver smashed into a second parked patrol car at the same location.
The Monday night crash is the third patrol car totaled by an alleged drunk driver since November 7.
“The men and women of law enforcement, when you see videos such as this it really makes us realize how dangerous the job is for them out there,” said Herman.
“It tells us that we’ve got impaired drivers on our streets and it is important that we continue our initiative and continue battling.”
Precinct 4 and law enforcement throughout Houston have additional patrols on the streets through New Year’s Day searching for impaired drivers.