San Augustine man arrested for evading arrest for Angelina Co. car chase

Christopher Benefield (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Christopher Benefield (Source: Angelina County Jail)

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Angelina County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 20-year-old San Augustine man Sunday in connection to an August 10 high-speed chase that started in Zavalla and wound up with two suspects fleeing into a wooded area off Dead Man Rd.

Christopher Allen Benefield is still being held in the Angelina County Jail on a state-jail felony charge of evading arrest/detention with a vehicle. His bail has been set at $100,000.

Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Bradley Stringer said there was a reason that he set Benefield's bail so high.

"After talking to Constable Wilson's Office and Texas Ranger Steve Rayburn, I felt that Mr. Benefield is a 100 percent flight risk," Stringer said. "If he had been able to make his bail, we wouldn't have ever seen him again."

According to the arrest affidavit, Constable Chad Wilson was patrolling Zavalla's Pickard Street on the evening of August 10 when he spotted a black Saturn with a defective headlight heading south. After Wilson tried to make a traffic stop on the car near the intersection of Pickard and Caldwell streets, the driver of the Saturn accelerated, made several turns, and wound up on U.S. Highway 69 and headed north toward Huntington.

Wilson pursued the Saturn for about three miles. At that point, the driver of the vehicle turned right onto Dead Man Road. After the Saturn went another mile or so, the driver turned into a small wooded trail. Then, two white males carrying two black bags bailed out of the Saturn and fled into the woods, the affidavit stated.

With the help of several ACSO deputies and U.S. Forest Service K9 officers, Wilson searched the wooded area for the two men. They found a small bag with several cell phones, drug paraphernalia, and some small tools.

Following a traffic stop by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper later that evening, Wilson followed up on some leads, and determined that Benefield was the driver of the Saturn.

Stringer said additional arrests may be pending.

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