Police: Drunken driver nearly hit officer in Riverside

SHARE Police: Drunken driver nearly hit officer in Riverside
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Daniel M. Vazquez | Riverside police

A drunken driver is facing charges after he nearly struck a police officer with his truck Thursday night in west suburban Riverside.

The officer was making an unrelated traffic stop about 10 p.m. in the 2800 block of Harlem when Daniel M. Vazquez almost struck him with his 2005 Dodge Truck, according to Riverside police. Vazquez then continued driving on Harlem Road, and the officer radioed another officer with a description of his vehicle.

Vazquez, 21, of Stickney, nearly drove into a row of parked cars as the second officer attempted to stop his truck, police said. He was eventually pulled over near the intersection of Harlem and Cermak.

When the officer made contact with him, Vazquez was slurring his speech and had difficulty understanding what he was being told, police said. He told the officer he was driving home, but was actually headed in the opposite direction. Vazquez noted that he’d bought beer at a liquor store, and the officer noticed a glass pipe typically used for smoking marijuana sitting inside the truck’s center console.

Vazquez ultimately failed a series of sobriety tests before telling the officer that he shouldn’t be arrested because he’d “only had three to four IPA beers,” police said. The officer disregarded the statement and took him into custody.

While being processed at the police station, Vazquez failed a breathalyzer test, police said. He then told officers that he’d also smoked marijuana before getting into his truck.

He was charged with two counts of driving under the influence and a single count of illegal lane usage, police said. He was also cited for several other traffic offenses.

As he was bonding out at the station, Vazquez warned officers that he was planning to commit suicide, police said.

“When I leave this place I am going to go home and put a bullet in my head,” he said. “You are not going to see me in court because I will be dead.”

He was then taken into custody and transported to McNeal Hospital for a medical evaluation, police said.

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