AUSTIN, Texas — Early Saturday morning, a suspected drunk driver dragged an Austin police officer 15-20 foot during a traffic stop, according to an arrest affidavit.
Hansel Zaragoza, 22, was pulled over just before 4 a.m. after an officer clocked him going 62 mph in a 35-mph zone on East Riverside Drive just east of Interstate 35. While the officer was talking to Zaragoza, he noticed what appeared to be a handgun on the driver side floorboard, according to the affidavit.
The officer then noticed a “shiny cylinder in the rear of the handle” and determined it was a pellet gun. The officer was able to remove it from the car.
As the officer continued talking to Zaragoza, he noticed the driver appeared to be intoxicated. The officer asked the driver to get out of his car numerous times, but he refused.
When the officer tried to reach in to unbuckle the driver’s seatbelt, the driver pressed the accelerator while the officer “was still halfway inside the driver side of the vehicle,” according to the affidavit.
The suspect dragged the officer nearly 20 feet while he was hanging out of the car, police say. The officer was able to put the car back into park and remove the key from the ignition. The officer suffered injuries to his left shin.
At the same time, a backup officer pulled out his firearm and pointed it at Zaragoza’s head and told him to stop the car, which he finally did. Both officers were finally able to pull the suspect out of the car and arrest him. Zaragoza is currently charged with aggravated assault on a public servant. Officers helped prevent a terrible situation from escalating and turning into something that could have been much worse. The drunk driver hopefully will think twice next time before getting on the road while intoxicated.