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Wife of DPW worker killed on the job thankful arrest was made: ‘I’m relieved he’s in custody’

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Terron Clayborn

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police on Wednesday, Feb. 20 announced the arrest of Terron Clayborn, 31, the suspect in the death of Bryan Rodriguez, a City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works employee killed on the job near 17th and Vine on Feb. 8. Paula Rodriguez, Bryan's wife, spoke exclusively with FOX6 News shortly after Clayborn's arrest Friday morning. She said she was thankful for the outpouring of love from friends, family and strangers, and was feeling comforted knowing the suspect was in custody.

Clayborn was on the run for 12 days.

Charges were filed against Clayborn on Feb. 14 -- one count of hit-and-run involving death and one count of knowingly operating while suspended, causing death.

"I'm relieved he's in custody. It's not going to bring my husband back, but I have some relief," said Paula Rodriguez.

Bryan Rodriguez

Prosecutors said Rodriguez was filling potholes near 17th and Vine, when a vehicle slammed into him and the back of the DPW truck -- with Clayborn behind the wheel of that vehicle. Court documents showed Clayborn and a woman with him then fled the scene. While she came forward later, Clayborn remained on the run until his capture Wednesday morning.

"I know they've been working very hard, and thankful they caught him," said Paula Rodriguez.

The complaint said the female passenger spoke in-depth with police about what happened. She indicated Clayborn, her boyfriend, was driving north on 17th Street and "she was looking at her phone, when she suddenly felt the car swerve and saw a yellow city truck stopped in the road directly in front of them." The woman indicated "she shouted to Clayborn to try to get him to turn, but that it was too late." They crashed into Rodriguez and the DPW truck.

The woman told police "she tried to flag down vehicles, but cars kept driving past and that people seemed to just simply record the incident with their phones." The complaint said the woman "kept trying to get someone to render help and take them to the hospital, but Clayborn was just trying to go home."According to the complaint, Clayborn got someone to drive him and the woman back to her residence.  When they arrived at the woman's residence, "she told Clayborn she wanted to go to the hospital, but Clayborn told her she couldn't. (The woman) stated Clayborn told her to change clothes, and that when she again stated she wanted to go to the hospital, Clayborn got a small black handgun, stuck it in her side and told her they were going to his brother's house and then to a hotel." The woman drove her own vehicle to do this -- and the complaint said Clayborn kept saying, "I lost everything."As soon as the pair arrived at their destination, Clayborn got out of the car and the woman "drove off and went straight to the hospital." When she arrived, "she told the employee that they should call the police because, 'I think he killed somebody and I think he's going to kill me.'" The woman feared Clayborn would kill her "because she went to the hospital and reported the crash."

The arrest came four days after a procession and funeral for Bryan Rodriguez Saturday. Paula Rodriguez said she was overwhelmed by and thankful for the support from the community.

Bryan Rodriguez funeral procession DPW trucks

Bryan Rodriguez funeral procession DPW trucks

"I'm just so overwhelmed by the generosity in the community. There are so many caring people out here that would do this for a stranger," said Paula Rodriguez.

Paula Rodriguez said her husband was a dedicated family man who did not deserve what happened to him.

"He was a great person. He was loved by a lot of people. He was a good man," said Paula Rodriguez.

Bryan Rodriguez

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