Man Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse After Taylor Freeway Chase Ends in Crash With Kids in Car

Man Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse After Taylor Freeway Chase Ends in Crash With Kids in Car

A man who had been charged in connection with the non-fatal beating of his girlfriend as she drove eastbound on I-94 through multiple cities had several charges dropped and pleaded guilty to two.

According to Wayne County Circuit Court documents, charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, domestic violence, fleeing a police officer, third degree child abuse and operating with a suspended/revoked license were all dropped against Joel Santos-Santos on May 17.

He pleaded guilty to second-degree child abuse, initiated by Michigan State Police, and fourth-degree fleeing police, initiated by Taylor police, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Santos-Santos is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. on June 28 before Judge Margaret Van Houten.

The prosecutor’s office said there is a sentencing agreement of three years of probation in each case to run concurrently.

He is restricted from contact with his girlfriend and her children, and must take parenting classes and undergo batterer’s counseling.

The charges stem from a June 25, 2020 incident that began in Taylor.

According to Taylor police, an officer was monitoring traffic on I-94 when he saw a woman allegedly being assaulted by a man, later identified as Santos-Santos. They were inside of a Jeep Cherokee.

Police said the vehicle was stopped and an officer intervened.

As a result, the woman was pushed out of the Jeep and Santos-Santos took off with their two children inside headed eastbound on the freeway, police said.

Another officer joined the pursuit and attempted to stop the vehicle, but Santos-Santos continued to give chase.

Michigan State Police became involved in the chase and pursued the Jeep into Detroit. The Jeep crashed in the area of Davidson and I-96.

Santos-Santos was then arrested and taken into custody. The children were not injured, but their mother was treated for the injuries she sustained during the alleged assault.

Jackie Harrison-Martin