SAN ANTONIO -- A veteran San Antonio Police officer was suspended 30 days earlier this year after he admitted to punching a drunk driving suspect eight times in the head while trying to get him to comply with a blood draw.

The incident happened in the early morning hours of Feb. 5, inside the central magistrate's office.

Officer Daniel Zimmerman, a seven-year veteran of SAPD, was suspended in late April after an internal affairs investigation determined he used "unreasonable and excessive" force on the suspect.

The officer filled out a 'use of force' form after the incident, and later wrote that he struck the man a total of eight times after other techniques used by him and other officers to force compliance failed.

Zimmerman also stated he feared for the safety of the nurse assigned to draw blood from the suspect to test blood alcohol content.

The suspect, identified as 36-year-old Julian Guerrero, had a visibly swollen ear in his booking photo and later told investigators he was hospitalized after bonding out.

He told internal affairs he refused to move his arms apart because he was never told Zimmerman had a warrant get a sample of his blood.

Julian Guerrero
Julian Guerrero

Guerrero faces a misdemeanor charge of DWI-open container.

The district attorney's office declined to pursue a charge against him for resisting arrest.

An arrest report indicates Guerrero ran through a stop sign along Loop 1604, then was speeding on Interstate 10 when he nearly struck traffic barrels.

Officers later found an open bottle of Dos Equis spilling onto the floorboard of his car. Guerrero then failed a field sobriety test, according to the report.

He did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Chief McManus was unavailable for an interview Monday.

An SAPD spokesman released the following statement Monday afternoon:

"In this case, discipline was decided after an examination of all the information. This was an unfortunate incident but it was addressed and disciplinary measures were taken."

Zimmerman remains part of the department's DWI unit, according to city human resources records.

Past records released by SAPD releated to DWI grants indicated that Zimmerman was one of the department's top DWI officers.

Officer Zimmerman wrote that he struck Guerrero four times, two separate times, after other compliance techniques failed
Officer Zimmerman wrote that he struck Guerrero four times, two separate times, after other compliance techniques failed

Zimmerman used accrued holiday time to cover the suspension, according to paperwork released to the I-Team last week.