2 arrested after fleeing Lorena officer and trooper

LORENA, TX - Two men were arrested after fleeing a Lorena police officer and a Department of Public Safety trooper following a Sunday night incident.

The pursuit had gone from Lorena, through Hewitt, Robinson, Waco and Bellmead and ended when the tires of the 2004 Volkswagen four-door were spiked in Lacy Lakeview.

It all started about 8:30 p.m. Sunday when a Lorena officer on regular patrol spotted the vehicle pulled off into the grassy median on the northbound side of I-35  with its emergency flashers going.

The officer stopped, thinking the driver needed assistance,  but when he approached and a window was rolled down, he immediately detected a strong odor of alcohol.

In the meantime, a DPS trooper had pulled up behind the officer and had also stopped.

The officer had taken the ID's of the driver and passenger and had gone back to his car to run a records check when the driver suddenly took off going north on the interstate.

Both the officer and the trooper gave chase, with the driver refusing to stop.

He eventually took the Craven Avenue exit at Lacy Lakeview and continued north on the service road.

Another trooper had set up at Crest Drive and had deployed spike strips which flattened the tires on the driver's side of the car, eventually bringing the car to a halt.

It was then determined that during the chase,  the driver appeared to have been punching the passenger in the face with his fist.

The driver, identified as 26-year-old Joel Palomino was arrested and booked into the McLennan County Jail on charges of driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit, felony evading arrest with a motor vehicle, assault causing bodily injury and was also named in an immigration hold.

The passenger was charged with public intoxication.

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