BONIFAY - On February 25, 2020, at approximately 5:00 pm the Bonifay Police Department was dispatched to an unresponsive driver impeding south bound traffic on Waukesha Street (SR 79).
Police said contact was made with a male driver, who was passed out behind the steering wheel with the transmission in gear. The suspect was questioned briefly and asked to pull to the side of the roadway, in which the driver complied.
“The driver was asked to exit the vehicle and he complied,” BPD officials said. “As the traffic stop progressed the driver got into the driver’s seat of the Chevrolet pick-up. As officers attempted to pull him from the vehicle, the driver sped off in a reckless manner.”
Police said a vehicle pursuit began as the driver traveled west on Highway 90. Two Officers with the Bonifay Police Department were assisted by a Holmes County Sheriff’s Deputy in attempting a “rolling roadblock” on the suspect vehicle. The driver began driving more aggressively and passed through the median into on-coming eastbound traffic. The suspect then returned to the westbound lanes where a second “rolling roadblock” was attempted without success.
The driver then, according to police, turned right onto Banfill Avenue and began traveling at speeds in excess of 100 miles-per-hour in a 35 mph zone. The pursuit traveled south on Depot Street, then again westbound on Highway 90. The driver then intentionally struck a marked Bonifay Police patrol car and a “pit maneuver” was used to end the pursuit causing minor damage to a Bonifay Police and Holmes County Sheriff vehicle.
The driver was identified as Benjamin O. Lee, a white male, 48 years-of-age from Bonifay.
Lee was arrested and is facing a first appearance tomorrow morning on charges of DWLSR (habitual offender), Fleeing and/or Attempting to Elude, Reckless Driving, Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon and Resisting Arrest with Violence amongst other charges.
“The Bonifay Police Department would like to thank the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in maintaining a crime scene in the drowning incident while medical treatment was rendered to the child and assistance in the vehicle pursuit,” Bonifay Police Chief Chris Wells said. “Both agencies worked together seamlessly and professionally in both incidents.”