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Local baby, female victim rescued safely; 1 man arrested for kidnapping, evading arrest, child endangerment

Posted at 2:24 PM, Feb 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-20 15:25:02-05

MILAM COUNTY, Texas — A multi-city pursuit that started in Bell County on Saturday night, ended in Milam County with a suspect in custody following reports of a kidnapping of a woman and a baby.

According to police, upon officers responding to a call in Bell County, a male subject identified as 27-year-old Paul Rodriguez, fled in a vehicle with a female and a baby inside.

The pursuit went from Temple, through Rogers and Buckholts, and then to the western city limits of Cameron, where the suspect vehicle avoided multiple spike attempts, then drove into a field and into a stock pond.

Rodriguez then fled on foot leaving the female and the baby in the vehicle in the pond — the two victims were rescued safely.

Temple police, the Milam County Sheriff's Office, Texas DPS troopers, and Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens searched for the suspect — authorities deployed a sheriff's office drone and used thermal imaging cameras to locate the suspect running.

Rodriguez crossed two fences and approached an unoccupied home when deputies apprehended him as he tried to gain access into the home.

As he was being taken into custody, Rodriguez became unresponsive and had to be administered multiple doses of Narcan before AMR arrived on the scene."

"Rodriguez, who was taken to the hospital for treatment, was booked into Bell County Jail on Monday after being cleared from the hospital," authorities said.

"It was later determined that he had multiple drugs in his system at the time of his arrest."

Temple police charged Rodriguez with kidnapping, evading arrest in a vehicle, and child endangerment.

A statement from Milam County Sheriff Mike Clore reads as follows:

“Great cooperation between all agencies involved helped to rescue 2 victims following a kidnapping and pursuit that began in a neighboring county. In addition, Milam County was able to bring in a drone with thermal imaging cameras that greatly assisted in the capture of the suspect involved. The drone is another tool in our toolbox that we can use to maintain public safety.”