Suspect in stolen 18-wheeler allegedly tried to run Rusk County deputies off road

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Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 11:15 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2022 at 12:22 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - During a chase through Rusk County early Monday morning, the driver of a stolen 18-wheeler allegedly tried to run law enforcement officers off the road before the truck was disabled.

According to a post on the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, RCSO Dispatch received a call from the Kilgore Police Department at about 6 a.m. Monday that said a loaded tractor-trailer rig had been stolen in the town.

“RCSO deputies located the stolen vehicle near FM 1716 in Rusk County and attempted to stop it,” the Facebook post stated. “The driver of the tractor-trailer rig then attempted to strike an RCSO patrol vehicle, and a lengthy pursuit ensued.”

After other RCSO deputies got to the area, the driver of the stolen 18-wheeler tried to run them off the road, the Facebook post stated.

“Several times, the driver attempted to use the big rig as a weapon against RCSO deputies while traveling on FM 1716 and FM 782, and also endangered area motorists during their morning commute,” the Facebook post stated.

At that point, authorities decided to disable the truck before it could be driven into Henderson to avoid putting more people in harm’s way.

“After an RCSO deputy shot out tires in order to cause the driver to stop, the pursuit continued through the City of Henderson. and the Henderson Police Department assisted with safely blocking intersections,” the Facebook post stated. “The driver of the stolen truck then turned southbound onto State Highway 259 toward Mt. Enterprise.”

Once the tractor-trailer rig was south of Henderson, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers “spiked” some of the vehicle’s tires, the Facebook post stated.

During the chase, the driver of the stolen 18-wheeler allegedly called RCSO Dispatch and said he would defend himself by “shooting back” if deputies shot at his vehicle again.

Once more of the truck’s tires were disabled, it came to a stop on Highway 259 just north of FM 1798.

“After a brief standoff with the driver, the suspect surrendered,” the Facebook post stated. “The suspect was transported to the emergency room in Henderson to be medically cleared before being placed in the Rusk County Jail on multiple felony charges.”

The Texas Rangers are assisting with the investigation. Sheriff Johnwayne Valdez said Tuesday that he will not be releasing the suspect’s name or any additional information until the Texas Rangers’ investigation is completed.

“The RCSO would like to thank the Tatum Police Department and all the law enforcement officers who assisted in a safe resolution of this dangerous situation,” the Facebook post stated.

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