Register Staff Report
Richmond police on Thursday charged 29-year-old Leon H. Benson of Detroit, Mich., with several offenses after he allegedly fled from officers in a stolen vehicle.
According to the report, at 4:57 p.m. an RPD detective in an unmarked vehicle observed a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am with a Michigan license plate driving recklessly on the Robert R. Martin Bypass.
The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed, passing other vehicles on the shoulder and running red lights, the report stated. Upon checking the license plate, the detective discovered the vehicle was reported stolen, and marked police units were called in for assistance.
As the suspect vehicle approached Lexington Road, a marked police car attempted a traffic stop. The vehicle refused to yield, continued to Interstate 75 and took the Exit 90 northbound. At the end of the ramp, the vehicle left the roadway and drove into a grassy area for about half a mile before crashing into a wooded ravine, the report stated.
Benson and a female passenger exited the vehicle uninjured.
While at the police station, Benson gave officers a fake name, the report stated. However, officers learned his true identity and found there were several outstanding warrants for his arrest.
Benson was charged with first-degree fleeing or evading police, three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, receiving stolen property less than $10,000, driving on a suspended license, careless driving, giving an officer a false name or address and two counts of disregarding a traffic control device.
Three misdemeanor failure-to-appear-in-court warrants also were served on Benson.
He was lodged in the Madison County Detention Center, where he remained Tuesday afternoon, according to the jail’s online records.