Report: Officer hit homeless drunk man

NORCROSS - Drivers have likened it to the video game "Frogger."

And residents near South Norcross Tucker Road, south of its intersection with Jimmy Carter Boulevard, have complained the winding roadway has devolved into a stress-inducing gamut of darting pedestrians, especially at night.

The latest evidence supporting those claims happened Thursday night. This time it involved a police cruiser.

At about 11 p.m. a Gwinnett police officer driving north on South Norcross Tucker Road struck a pedestrian who had darted into traffic, authorities said.

The pedestrian, identified as 42-year-old Felipe Navaro, was intoxicated, police said. He suffered minor injuries and was treated at Gwinnett Medical Center.

Police said Navaro, who is homeless, showed "extreme signs of intoxication" and was combative with emergency responders on scene.

The officer, Christopher Deming, swerved to avoid Navaro but struck him, according to a police report. The accident happened near the Crestwood Apartments. Deming has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

"The officer's speed was not a contributing factor," Gwinnett police spokeswoman Cpl. Illana Spellman said.

Navaro was issued citations as he received hospital care. His charges include pedestrian under the influence and infractions of suddenly leaving the curb and not using a crosswalk, Spellman said.

The officer's car was "slightly damaged," Spellman said.

The high volume of pedestrian-related accidents in the area might not wholly be the fault of walkers.

Earlier this year, Gwinnett police targeted the area for a sting in which more than 80 drivers were cited or warned for disobeying state pedestrian laws in a single morning.

It's difficult to say exactly how bad the situation is. Spellman said it wouldn't be feasible Friday to tabulate the number of pedestrian-related accidents in the Norcross area in 2008.