Cops: Drunken driver was texting when he crashed into deputy’s car

An alleged drunk driver was texting when he crashed into a Gwinnett County sheriff’s deputy’s patrol car Monday night, authorities said.

Arnoldo Mendez Escobar, 33, crossed a median on I-85 South near Steve Reynolds Boulevard and struck the car of Deputy Thomas Tharp, according to the Gwinnett sheriff’s office.

The crash was captured on a nearby deputy’s dash cam.

That deputy, who was operating a license plate recognition device before the crash, rushed to Tharp’s aid.

Tharp survived — but he was stuck in the car.

“I don’t think you are going to be able to get that door open,” the deputy could be heard saying on the dash-cam video.

Tharp managed to make it out without any injuries, the sheriff’s office said.

Tharp took one day off and then returned to work, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Escobar told police he was texting at the time of the crash, authorities said. He faces charges of DUI, texting while driving, failure to maintain lane, driving within a gore or median and driving in violation of license restrictions.

He is out of jail on bond but is in ICE custody and is waiting to be deported, according to Channel 2.

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