Cedar Park car chase linked to recent ATM robberies

Security camera video obtained by FOX7 from several Cedar Park businesses shows the last part of the big car chase Wednesday afternoon.

A large number of police and troopers were after a light-colored sedan. The chase went up and down US 183 and ended in a ditch near the Block House subdivision. From a garage office, Ron Reagan said he watched the foot chase that followed.

"And I looked up and I see the tan looking car, she was driving, flip and roll and landed upside down. And then she jumps out of the vehicle and starts to run north and a K9 grabbed her and also an officer,” said Reagan.



On Thursday afternoon Cedar Park police identified the driver as 32-year-old Joanna Elise Santos. She has been charged with first-degree felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a peace officer and second-degree felony interference with a police service animal with the intent to injure or kill. 

Santos has a long criminal history. She has been charged several times for driving while intoxicated, several times for assault and family violence, and has been charged with forgery, credit card abuse, organized retail theft, burglary, and harassment.

Sources close to the investigation tell FOX 7 that the car was not chased because of a minor traffic offense, but because it fit the description of a vehicle linked to a series of ATM robberies.

RELATED: Woman arrested after striking Cedar Park officer, K-9 with vehicle

The chase went into parts of Leander as well as Travis County. Santos's bumper even ended up in the parking lot of a dog groomer.

Eddie Ramirez watched the cars go by three times. "It was really bad, civilians on the road had to go on the side and stuff like that, it could have been a bigger accident, who knows,” he said.

There was a big collision at the intersection of FM 1431 and US 183. Ronnie Johnson almost got caught up in it.

"I come in right through our entrance and set there and was just kind of finishing up my lunch and when I was getting out I could see a lot of cops going by and they were thick as fleas and by the time I started to walk away from my truck I heard what sounded like almost like a gunshot like BOOM and I see a big commotion over there and I go running around the corner and I'm telling my boss 'hey I think the cops might've just shot somebody or something,” said Johnson.

RELATED: Cedar Park police investigating robbery of USPS letter carrier

The sound he heard was a gunshot from a state trooper who fired about the time Santos allegedly hit a Cedar Park police officer and his K9 partner. Bobby Johns watched that part from his oil change business.

"She pretty much just blew through some cars is what she did, didn't slow down, hit the officer's car … rammed right through ‘em. Also hit a Cedar Park Overhead Door car. I heard some loud noises like they blew out the tires or something and then I ran over there and I seen, you know, there was an officer there, they had a dog that was laying on the ground,” said Johns.

The injured Cedar Park officer is identified as Justin Gower and his K9 partner's name is Rogue. Both were treated and released.

CPPD says further charges may be pending. CPPD is working on this investigation in conjunction with the Texas Department of Public Safety.