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Patrol car rolls as officer avoids drunken pedestrian

A police patrol car rolled three times early Friday when the officer behind the wheel swerved to avoid a drunken man who was walking in the middle of West Loop 820 in northwest Fort Worth, police said.

The officer was injured, but was in good condition while being taken to Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital, said Lt. Paul Henderson, police spokesman.

The wreck was reported at about 3:30 a.m. in the 800 block of the loop, also called North Jim Wright Freeway. The area is near the intersection of North Loop 820 and White Settlement Road.

Witnesses told police that a man was "walking in the middle of the highway," and "obstructing the lane of traffic," according to a police report released by Henderson.

The report also stated that the officer in a northbound patrol car swerved "out of the way to keep from running over (the man)," which caused the patrol car "to crash, rolling over approximately three times, and coming to a stop in the ditch."

Fellow officers responding to the wreck said the pedestrian, who stayed at the scene, "had a very strong odor of alcohol beverage coming from his breath, red, watery eyes and slurred speech," according to the report.

Officers also reported that the man "staggered while walking."

He subsequently was arrested on a charge of public intoxication, according to the report.

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