EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
The suspect in the stabbing of a mother and son in Cottonwood Shores led law enforcement on a high-speed pursuit through two counties, but teamwork put him in the Burnet County Jail, where he is facing several felony charges.
Cottonwood Shores Police Chief Johnny Liendo said the man entered a Cottonwood Shores home in the early morning hours of August 6 and stabbed a woman and her juvenile son with a knife.
“Both (victims) were taken to the hospital,” the chief said. “The son is still in the hospital — he had critical injuries — but he should be out in the next couple of days.”
The woman was treated and released.
After the attack, the suspect, identified as Johnathon Gonzales, 27, of Tilden, fled the area. Cottonwood Shores police passed on a description of the man’s vehicle, which Granite Shoals Police Department patrol officers came across on RR 1431 near FM 1980.
GSPD Capt. Chris Decker stated in an email that the suspect raced away from the Granite Shoals officers. He ended up on U.S. 281 headed south with the officers in pursuit.
The officers “chose to continue the pursuit of this violent criminal as he had just committed a felonious assault against two people,” the captain added. At the time, no Marble Falls officers were available to intervene when the chase entered that city. Decker stated the two Granite Shoals officers acted within department policy and were in direct contact with supervisors during the pursuit.
Burnet County sheriff’s deputies joined the pursuit until the Blanco County line, where deputies in that county took over.
The Granite Shoals officers maintained the pursuit but let Johnson City police take the lead once they reached that city. The suspect’s speed at some points went well over 100 mph, reaching up to 140 mph, according to a Johnson City Police Department Facebook post.
The chase continued south to the northern edge of Blanco, where a waiting Blanco police officer deployed spike strips and flattened the tires on the suspect’s vehicle.
The chase wasn’t over as the man attempted to flee on foot; however, law enforcement officers were able to catch him.
Once apprehended, Blanco County EMS transported Gonzales to the Seton Highland Lakes emergency room in Burnet as Granite Shoals officers tagged along. At the emergency room, a Cottonwood Shores officer arrived to monitor the man.
Gonzales was booked into the Burnet County Jail. He is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a weapon, violation of a protective order, and evading arrest. He is also being held on a burglary warrant out of Atascosa County.
Liendo pointed out the apprehension was the result of great teamwork among Highland Lakes and Hill Country law enforcement agencies as well as the Texas Rangers.
“I have a real quiet community here, but we’re not immune from these types of things,” the Cottonwood Shores police chief said. “What’s important is that (law enforcement) all work together when something does happen.”
He expressed his gratitude to the two Granite Shoals officers who initiated the pursuit and stuck with the suspect and the Blanco County agencies that assisted in ending the pursuit. Liendo also thanked the Texas Rangers who helped with questioning Gonzales after the arrest.
“It was just about capturing the bad guy,” Liendo said. “There’s just a strong bond throughout the law enforcement community. Everyone just joins in when they’re needed and does what they can do.”