BEEVILLE – Residents living around the intersection of North Adams and East Jones streets awoke Wednesday morning to find patrol cars with flashing emergency lights and officers running all around the neighborhood.
“We’re chasing someone,” Lt. Kenneth Jefferson shouted out when asked about the activity.
Jefferson did not know it, but he was just minutes away from finding and arresting a fleeing suspect.
Police Chief Joe Treviño said the incident started shortly after 7 a.m. when Patrolman Nathaniel Robinson noticed a suspicious-looking man walking along East Jones Street.
Treviño said the young man was wearing a black backpack, his pockets were bulging, and he was staring at the ground, trying to avoid eye contact with the officer.
Robinson drove beside the man and tried to engage him in conversation. But the pedestrian continued staring at the ground and seemed evasive.
It was at that point that the officer decided to search the man to determine if he might be carrying stolen property. Treviño said officers had been investigating several recent residential and vehicle burglaries.
Robinson stepped out of the vehicle and asked the man if he was carrying a knife.
The 21-year-old said he did have a knife, and he reached for it.
Robinson stopped him and said, “Don’t touch the knife.” Then, as the officer reached for the pocket where he believed the knife was, the man struggled with the officer and managed to break away from him.
The suspect was gone quickly, and Robinson was unable to find him so he called for backup.
Troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety, deputies with the Bee County Sheriff’s Office and city police officers immediately surrounded the area and began a methodical search for the suspect.
“He wasn’t going anywhere,” Treviño said. “We knew where he was.”
The chief said Jefferson was walking along the 900 block of North Adams Street looking for any evidence that someone might be hiding there, and he noticed a garage door open.
The officer encountered the resident and asked him if he had left the garage door open, and the resident responded no.
That was when Jefferson entered the garage and found the suspect hiding.
When Jefferson tried to detain the suspect, he struggled again, but that time he was unable to escape.
The chief said the suspect, identified as Jacob Benavidez, was taken to the Bee County Jail where he was booked in two Class B misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance, synthetic marijuana and resisting arrest.
Benavidez also was charged with one Class A misdemeanor, resisting arrest/detention.
If convicted on the Class A charge, the defendant could face up to a year in the Bee County Jail and a $4,000 fine.
A conviction on either of the Class B charges could result in a six-month jail sentence and a fine of $2,000.