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Cedar Park police identify suspect in chase that injured officer, K9

The collision happened on North Bell Boulevard. A suspect is now in custody.

CEDAR PARK, Texas — A Cedar Park police officer was struck during a vehicle pursuit Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Cedar Park Police Department, the incident occurred in the 2100 block of North Bell Blvd. area.

At 3:30 p.m., officials confirmed the officer is a K9 officer. He sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was treated at a local hospital. His K9 partner was also treated for minor injuries. Both have since been released.

Officials also stated that the CPPD was not involved in a shooting during this incident. A Texas DPS trooper discharged their firearm, striking the suspect's vehicle. It did not lead to any injuries.

On Thursday, police said the incident stemmed from reports that a woman was acting suspiciously in an area where previous felony criminal acts had recently occurred. Officials attempted to pull her over around 1:05 p.m., but she drove off, leading officers on a chase through parts of Cedar Park, Leander and briefly in other parts of Travis and Williamson counties.

Along the way, police said she struck two private-citizen vehicles and a marked patrol unit.

When she reached the area of 100 W. Whitestone Blvd., Officer Justin Gower and his K9 partner, Rogue, got out of their vehicle in an attempt to stop her. Both were then struck.

The driver, identified as Joanna Elise Santos, 32, continued driving until she crashed on North Bell. She was then taken into custody.

Santos is now charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer, a first-degree felony, and interference with a police service animal with intent to injure/kill, a second-degree felony. Further charges could be pending.

“I want to commend the swift actions by our officers, dispatchers, and surrounding agencies in their help to apprehend this suspect,” said Chief Mike Harmon. “Officer Gower and K9 Rogue are both recovering from a situation that could have had a very different outcome. We’d like to thank everyone for their patience during the road closures and at this time, this continues to be an active and fluid situation.” 

The case remains under investigation in conjunction with the Texas DPS. TxDOT and Leander police also assisted during road closures.


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