A Temple man was arrested Friday morning after Texas Department of Public Safety and Bell County law enforcement officers pursued a stolen vehicle through Belton and West Temple, officials said.
More than a dozen police vehicles had sirens blaring and emergency lights on as they pursued a vehicle north on FM 2271 from the Belton Dam.
DPS Sgt. Dave Roberts confirmed that troopers were involved in the incident, which started when a suspect in a stolen vehicle tried to flee from a trooper.
The pursuit went into the county area, where deputies with the Bell County Sheriff’s Department joined in to assist, Maj. T.J. Cruz said.
Also assisting was Bell County Constable Thomas Prado.
The 1994 green Dodge pickup truck had no front license plate, so a traffic stop was attempted by a trooper. When the back license plate was checked, it was discovered the truck was reported stolen Wednesday Feb. 27 to the Temple Police Department, DPS Trooper Steven Stanfield said.
The chase began on Loop 121 near Belton High School and ended after the driver took several different evasive turns in the Belton area before crossing the Belton Dam into West Temple. The driver ended up at Temple Lake Park, turned around and encountered many law enforcement officers waiting for him.
A Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife game warden set up spike strips, and the pickup took out the stop sign and street sign at Woodland Park Road. The man jumped out of the pickup, ran through some backyards, tripped on something, fell and was captured, Stanfield said.
The pickup had a motorcycle in the pickup bed, but the motorcycle wasn’t reported stolen, Stanfield said.
Chase Thornal, 24, of Temple, was identified by DPS as the driver of the stolen truck. He was transported to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Temple with minor injuries before he was taken to the Bell County Jail.
Thornal is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and evading with a vehicle. His bond had not been set by early Friday evening.