Causeway police chase erupts in gunfire; suspect faces additional charges

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Additional charges have been filed against a 26-year-old man who led police on a high-speed chase across the Causeway at speeds over 100 mph. The chase concluded in police gunfire after the driver accelerated in the direction of officers, police say.

Police say that the driver, 26-year-old Ranell Joseph of Donaldsonville, led police on a chase across the northbound side of the Causeway Bridge.

According to Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato, police were investigating a robbery at the Circle K on Veterans Memorial Boulevard when they spotted a gray Dodge Challenger that matched the description of the car used in the robbery near the corner of Veterans and Causeway Boulevards. When officers attempted to pull over the challenger, the driver refused to pull over.

Police laid spike strips near the end of the bridge that brought the car to a stop. Causeway and Mandeville police then approached the car with their weapons drawn, at which point Joseph accelerated in their direction, missing officers, but ramming into an unoccupied police car.

Officers opened fire on Joseph as he came at them, but did not shoot the suspect. Joseph was injured during the crash and was treated at LSU Public Hospital. Police say his injuries don't appear to be serious.

Joseph was initially booked with first-degree robbery in connection with the Circle K incident and was later booked in connection to four other robberies that occurred over the weekend.

The four other robberies include:

  • Attempted first-degree robbery of O-Reilly Auto Parts, 600 Ames Blvd. in Marrero on Aug. 29 at 7:44 p.m.
  • Attempted simple robbery of New 2 U Shell, 6200 West Bank Expressway, Marrero on Aug. 29 at 7:46 p.m.
  • Attempted armed robbery of Popeye's, 7100 West Bank Expressway, Marrero on Aug. 29 at 8:05 p.m.
  • Armed robbery of Burger King, 4933 Veterans Blvd., Metairie on Aug. 29 at 11:17 p.m.

On Friday, additional charges were filed. Mandeville detectives have charged Joseph with aggravated flight from an officer, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle upon an officer and aggravated criminal damage to property.

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