Man who led officers on Causeway chase faces new charges in Mandeville _lowres

Ranell Joseph

Ranell Joseph, a Jefferson Parish armed robbery suspect who crashed his vehicle at the north end of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and survived a barrage of gunfire from officers after he led law enforcement on a high-speed chase across the bridge last weekend, now faces additional charges in Mandeville, authorities said Friday.

Joseph, 26, tried to flee Jefferson Parish authorities by fleeing across the bridge the night of Aug. 30.

Mandeville police said he now faces counts of aggravated flight from an officer, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle upon a peace officer and aggravated criminal damage to property.

Joseph is already in the custody of Jefferson Parish officials on armed robbery and other counts related to events before and during the chase.

After Joseph allegedly robbed a Circle K store on Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Metairie about 11 p.m. Aug. 30, Jefferson Parish deputies were told to be on the lookout for a gray or black Dodge Challenger.

When one deputy spotted the car and tried to pull it over, it sped off on the northbound lanes of the Causeway, authorities said.

The Challenger reached speeds of more than 100 mph during the chase across the bridge that ended only when the car ran over spike strips placed at the north end. When officers approached the car, Joseph allegedly accelerated toward them, prompting them to open fire.

The Challenger then crashed into an unoccupied police car and came to a halt, officials said.

Joseph was not hit by any of the gunfire, but he did suffer injuries in the crash. He was treated at a hospital before being booked in the Jefferson Parish Jail on the Circle K robbery and several other counts, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Mandeville Police Chief Rick Richard said his department’s investigation showed Causeway and Mandeville police officers responded to the chase and subsequent apprehension in an appropriate manner.