A San Antonio man was arrested after he stole a piece of heavy construction equipment in Bruceville-Eddy and started a low-speed pursuit in Lorena that stretched into Waco along the Interstate 35 access road Monday night, Lorena Police Chief Tom Dickson said.

A patrolling Lorena officer spotted a SkyTrak telehandler, a four-wheeled piece of construction equipment with a boom lift, traveling north near mile marker 322 without any reflective safety markings or lights, Dickson said. When the officer attempted to stop the driver for the traffic-safety concern at about 10:30 p.m., the man, later identified as Edwin Cyrus Rodriguez, 29, continued driving, he said.

"He continued going at about 20 mph after our officer activated his lights," Dickson said.

As the chase continued, officers requested assistance from other agencies, including the Robinson Police Department, Hewitt Police Department, Bruceville-Eddy Police Department and McLennan County Sheriff's Office.

In Waco, near the access road and Primrose Drive, a sheriff's office deputy fired a nonlethal projectile at Rodriguez, Dickson said. The projectile struck Rodriguez and ended the pursuit. The access road turns into LaSalle Avenue at Primrose Drive, just south of the traffic circle.

The pursuit covered about 10 miles and lasted about 20 minutes.

Investigators later determined Rodriguez had stolen the equipment from a construction site in Bruceville-Eddy earlier in the day, Dickson said. Rodriguez was taken to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center for evaluation before he was to McLennan County Jail.

Rodriguez was arrested on two third-degree felony charges of theft under $150,000 and evading arrest in a vehicle. He remained jailed Tuesday with bond listed at $20,000.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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