Pursuit in two counties brings arrest

Local

The Bell County Sheriff’s Department reports a morning pursuit through Bell and into McLennan County has ended with the vehicle’s tires flattened and a 27-year-old Raymondville man going to jail.

Bell County Sheriff spokesman Major T.J. Cruz says the department started getting calls regarding a reckless driver going north on I-35 near the Bell-Williamson County line at 3:53 a.m.

Major Cruz says deputies located the silver 2000 model Honda Accord near the 285 mile marker at Salado and began following it.

He says around the 290 northbound mile marker at Belton the driver made an erratic and sudden lane change to the left almost striking a truck.

At that point deputies activated their emergency equipment to make a traffic stop, but the driver refused to stop.

Speeds were in the 60-75 mile per hour range with  Cruz saying the driver turning off his lights a few times.

McLennan County deputies joined to assist the pursuit as it  entered McLennan County, with spike strips deployed, flattening two tires.

A few miles north of there another set of spikes were deployed flattening the other two tires.

The driver finally stopped at the 323 mile marker at Lorena.

Major Cruz says the driver was identified as Matthew Almanza of Raymondville who was taken into custody for evading arrest in a vehicle and taken to the Bell County Jail.

Matthew Almanza

His female passenger was interviewed and later released.

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