Man who paralyzed IMPD officer in drunken driving incident arrested again

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Jerrel Watkins

Jerrel Watkins

PENDLETON, Ind. (July 10, 2014) – A man who paralyzed an IMPD officer in 2012 was arrested again.

Jerrel L. Watkins, 29, was arrested last week after police found him trying to start his car and acting intoxicated in a gas station parking lot at 5039 W. Indiana 38, according to the Herald Bulletin.

According to the probable cause affidavit involving Friday’s local incident, a concerned Ricker’s attendant called police after seeing Watkins walk into the store and acting strangely.

An employee told police that Watkins had been in the store earlier in the evening, purchased several alcoholic drinks, then returned later and appeared drunk.

The arresting officer reported Watkins had slurred speech, slow reaction time and bloodshot eyes.

Watkins reportedly failed two field sobriety tests and passed a third.

His blood-alcohol content was .018 percent — well below the legal limit. He also agreed to take a chemical test, for which police are awaiting the results.

According to jail records, Watkins made bail on a $5,000 bond the same morning he was arrested.

In 2012, Watkins was arrested after driving drunk through an Indianapolis Kroger parking lot and damaging several vehicles.

He then left the lot, turned onto a dead-end street, made a U-turn, disregarded a stop sign and drove into the path of Indianapolis policeman Santos Cortez, who was responding to the scene.

The impact pushed the squad car into oncoming traffic, where it was struck by a pickup truck.

Watkins pleaded guilty to the criminal case in 2013, and was sentenced to three years in prison.

According to prison records, he was released in November 2013.

Cortez was partially paralyzed by the incident, but he returned to work at IMPD earlier this year.

Source: Anderson Herald Bulletin