Robert Zimmerman, 79, faces a charge of intoxication assault.
Robert Zimmerman, 79, faces a charge of intoxication assault.
Photo courtesy of the Houston Police Department

Man Accused of Hitting Houston Policeman While Driving Drunk Arraigned

A 79-year-old man who Houston police say struck an officer while driving drunk on Wednesday morning has been arraigned on a single charge of intoxication assault, a felony.

Police say Robert Zimmerman was driving south on U.S. 59 around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday when he hit Officer Nestor Garcia, 24. The rookie officer was conducting a felony traffic stop of a suspected stolen vehicle on the side of the freeway and standing between two police cruisers when Zimmerman struck him in a white Toyota Highlander, police said. Doctors were initially unsure if Garcia would survive.

Garcia remained in critical but stable condition on Thursday morning, police said. Zimmerman is out of the Harris County Jail after posting a $30,000 bond.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said Thursday afternoon that the department is hopeful Garcia will recover, but cautioned that it will take time for doctors to assess the extent of his head injuries.

"Today he's opened his eyes on several occasions, he's responded to commands, he has been able to do a thumbs-up...which gives us great hope," Acevedo said.

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