AUSTIN (KXAN) — A suspect in a robbery in Williamson County led Department of Public Safety troopers and Williamson County deputies on a rare chase down Interstate 35 in Austin. The suspect was taken into custody after the chase ended on the University of Texas at Austin campus.
The suspect vehicle went through downtown Austin, hitting at least one car, just after 10 p.m. and then went onto campus where the chase ended at East 20th Street and San Jacinto Boulevard. A DPS helicopter tracked the suspect during the chase.
Jenny Feng lives in the 360 Condos and watched the chase unfold.
“It caught my eye that there were a bunch of flashing lights on I-35 but I figured it was nothing until I noticed that that line was coming down South First Street. I looked over and realized that there were still people on the street, so they weren’t closing it down for an event or anything.”
Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody said around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday his units were pursuing a robbery suspect in the area around Wolf Ranch Town Center at Interstate 35 and State Highway 29.
Authorities in at least a dozen vehicles pursued the suspect southbound on I-35. Witnesses say at one point the suspect drove over a pedestrian bridge off West Third Street near the 360 Condos.
“That’s the old railroad bridge, just pure wood,” Stephan Salpas says. “I didn’t think he would squeeze through there, but he did. After that, there was a giant pole in the middle of the ground and he was trying to squeeze through there but he couldn’t and the cop car ended up ramming him. Which knocked out the pole and that’s how he got all the way down to Trader Joe’s and True Foods.”
Sheriff Chody said his units decided to terminate their pursuit after weighing the options and the risk to the public, but DPS continued their pursuit. “This is a difficult decision 4 cops to make because they always want to get the bad guy,” Chody tweeted.
Anyone with photos or video of the chase can send it to ReportIt@kxan.com.