Chicago man gets 12-year prison term for DUI-fueled chase, crash in W. Dundee
From Submitted Reports April 29, 2013 5:54PM
Henry Benjamin III, 39, of the 100 block of North Mozart Street, Chicago, on Jan. 3, 2013, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated DUI, a Class 2 felony, and one count of aggravated driving on a revoked license, a Class 2 felony. | Kane County State's Attorney
Updated: June 1, 2013 6:36AM
ST. CHARLES TWP. — A Chicago man was sentenced to prison Monday for leading police on a chase through several northern Kane County communities while intoxicated before crashing into a West Dundee police squad car and injuring several officers.
Henry Benjamin III, 39, of the 100 block of North Mozart Street, was sentenced by Associate Judge Marmarie J. Kostelny to 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
On Jan. 3, Benjamin had pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated driving under the influence, a Class 2 felony, and one count of aggravated driving on a revoked license, a Class 2 felony.
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, police said.
When Benjamin tried to reach into the center console of his car, the officer became alarmed and a struggle ensued, police said.
Benjamin was able to put his vehicle into gear and then drive off, dragging the officer with him for a short distance, according to authorities.
Benjamin then led multiple squad cars from multiple jurisdictions on a lengthy chase at speeds that exceeded the posted limits south on Route 25, west on Route 68 and west on Route 72, according to police.
The pursuit ended at Routes 31 and 72 in West Dundee when Benjamin lost control of his car and collided with a West Dundee police car.
Benjamin was taken into custody, and the investigation revealed that his blood-alcohol concentration was .160, or twice the legal limit.
One of the officers continues to recover from the injuries.
The judge also ordered Benjamin to pay the village of West Dundee $31,097 for damage to the police car within five years of his release from prison.
During the hearing, Judge Kostelny noted that a videotaped recording of the events was alarming to view and said she was amazed no one was more seriously injured or killed. Kostelny noted that public safety was a factor in the length of the sentence.
Benjamin has four prior DUI convictions and previously has served time in prison for DUI.
He also has 25 prior convictions for driving on a revoked license. Benjamin was on parole for a prior DUI conviction at the time of the chase.
The sentence is 12 years in prison for each count, to be served concurrently.
According to Illinois law, Benjamin is eligible for day-for-day credit. He was given credit for at least 777 days served in the Kane County jail.
The case was prosecuted by Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Greg Sams.