CENTRAL TEXAS -- A strange low-speed chase involving a stolen piece of construction equipment baffled police and bystanders Monday in Central Texas.
Just before 10 p.m., a Lorena Police Officer saw a large SkyTrak brand telehandler -- similar to a large forklift -- driving north on the I-35 access road near mile marker 322 without any reflective markings or lights. The officer tried to pull over the equipment using his emergency lights, but the construction vehicle did not stop.
The man at the helm of the telehandler was Edwin Cyrus Rodriguez, 29, of San Antonio, according to police. Investigators said Rodriguez had stolen the equipment from a construction site near Bruceville-Eddy earlier on Monday. As he continued to drive along at roughly 20 miles per hour, Lorena Police called for backup from four other law enforcement agencies -- including the Hewitt Police Department, the Robinson Police Department, the McLennan County Sheriff's Office and the Bruceville-Eddy Police Department.
When Rodriguez got close to mile marker 332 by Primrose Drive, sheriff's deputies shot him with a non-lethal projectile and managed to take him into custody. They transported him to Hillcrest Hospital for medical clearance before taking him to the McLennan County Jail, where he was charged with two third-degree felonies of theft of more than $30,000/under $150,000 and evading arrest in a vehicle.
Nobody was injured during the bizarre chase, police said.