Juvenile leads police on 90mph chase ending in Downtown Austin
A juvenile is arrested after leading police on a dangerous high speed chase. Cell phone video captured by witnesses shows a line of police following the suspect through Downtown Austin around 10 p.m. Wednesday night.
According to the Williamson County Sheriff's Office the chase initially started after 8 p.m. in Round Rock near Stony Point High School. It then headed toward Georgetown before flipping back south down I-35. The driver weaved through Downtown Austin before heading north onto the University of Texas at Austin campus. The chase ended and the suspect was arrested near 20th Street and San Jacinto Boulevard.
The line of police cars chasing the vehicle down 3rd Street was a sight that's so unfamiliar those living along the chase route were unsure of what they were seeing.
"I started filming and realized that first car wasn't actually a police car. It was just a white, normal car and then I realized, 'I think this is a car chase,'" recalls Downtown Austin resident Jenny Feng.
Feng captured part of the chase on video. On the cell phone video clip you hear her describe the chase unfolding, "Oh, dude. This goes to a dead end. That street goes to a dead end!"
The person behind the wheel didn't let the dead end stop them. Instead they plowed onto the pedestrian bridge that connects 3rd Street to West Avenue.
"I'm really thankful no one got hurt. This is a very safe community and a lot of great people live here. It was really crazy," says Feng.
Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody explains, the chase started after a wanted juvenile's family members reported him to police as a burglary suspect. The juvenile did have a warrant out for his arrest. Deputies chased him at speeds upwards of 90 miles per hour for 25 minutes.
"This juvenile was not taking it seriously. He was laughing at police officers. At one point he actually stopped and waved a finger at our deputies and left," explains Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody.
As the chase spilled into Austin, Williamson County backed off for safety and let the Department of Public Safety and Travis County take over.
"It's not easy to terminate. I can tell you there's a lot of hurt feelings out there who didn't want to stop that and I get that. I wanted to be the agency to get him, but in the long run he was still caught and that's because agencies are working together," Chody says.
He says deciding whether not to continue pursuing a suspect depends on each individual set of circumstances.
"You're looking at the weather conditions... the traffic conditions... what's the violation that you're chasing for? What's the immediate need to arrest this person?" Chody explains.
Police are not identifying the person behind the wheel because is a juvenile. However, Williamson County says they're looking at filing more charges against him for trying to get away.