Guilty plea in Dundee-area police chase, crash
From Staff Reports January 4, 2013 4:32PM
Updated: February 7, 2013 6:36AM
ST. CHARLES TWP. — A Chicago man faces a long prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to leading police on a chase through several northern Kane County towns while intoxicated, crashing into a West Dundee police car and injuring several officers in the process.
Henry Benjamin III, 39, of the 100 block of North Mozart Street, Chicago, pleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of aggravated driving under the influence, a Class 2 felony, and one count of aggravated driving on a revoked license, also a Class 2 felony.
Associate Judge Marmarie J. Kostelny accepted the pleas and set Benjamin’s next court appearance for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 14, for sentencing. Benjamin faces between six and 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. He is not eligible for probation, according to a statement from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.
At about 11:30 p.m. March 12, 2011, Benjamin was stopped by Carpentersville police on Route 25 for a traffic violation. Benjamin refused to provide the officer with his driver’s license and proof of insurance. When he tried to reach into the center console of his car, the officer became alarmed and a struggle ensued. Benjamin was able to put his vehicle into gear and drove off, dragging the officer with him for a short distance, according to officials. The officer continues to recover from his injuries, the statement said.
Benjamin led multiple squad cars from several jurisdictions on a lengthy chase south on Route 25, west on Route 68 and west on Route 72 until, at the intersection of Routes 31 and 72 in West Dundee, he lost control of his car and rammed a West Dundee police car.
Benjamin was taken into custody, and an investigation revealed that his blood-alcohol concentration was .16, double the legal limit of .08.
Benjamin faces a longer sentence because he has four prior DUI convictions and has previously served time in prison for DUI. He also has 15 prior convictions for driving on a revoked license, according to the state’s attorney’s office.
Benjamin remains in the Kane County jail, where he had been held since his arrest on $1 million bail. Bond was revoked upon conviction.
The case was prosecuted by Kane County Assistant State’s Attorneys Greg Sams and Andrew Whitfield.