CASTLE HILLS, Texas – Three months into a new career, Castle Hills police officer Jose Morales, had to put his training to the test during a routine traffic stop that took a dangerous turn.
According to the department, on May 2, Morales’ dash camera captured a car rear-ending Morales’ patrol vehicle and attempting to drive off after the incident.
“There was nobody around, and all of a sudden, I was hit out of nowhere,” Morales said. “I saw him pull up alongside me, and then he peeled out. I knew that there was probably something more to it, you know, like he either had a warrant or something else.”
Morales said his SUV was pushed forward by the car, and that’s when he started to alert dispatch and request backup, saying he knew there was probably more to the incident.
The suspect, identified as Alejandro Herrera, was arrested and not hurt during the collision.
According to a police report, Herrera told investigators that “he was confused with the way traffic operates in Texas.” The report says that officers asked Herrera what state he was in, and he responded “Illinois.”
Herrera was booked on charges of driving while intoxicated and failure to stop. He has no prior arrests in Bexar County, according to court records.
The crash happened two years after a suspected DWI crash involving a Castle Hills Police Officer.
In that incident, a suspected drunk driver plowed into the scene of a crash. A woman died and several others, including two police officers, were hurt. That trial is set to begin later this month.
Additionally, the department says the incident is part of an overall increase in DWI arrests in the Castle Hills area.
Capt. Wayne Waggoner says they’ve had 60 DWI arrests since the start of the year, the most he can recall.
Morales said he was grateful the crash happened to him and not some innocent person. He wants the message to people to be “don’t drink and drive.”
“In this world of Lyfts and Ubers, if you’re going to be able to spend money and go out and drink alcohol — like, why would you, as an adult, make the conscious decision to drive drunk? Because I’m glad it was me and not like some lady and her kids,” Morales said.