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Chicago man pleads guilty to DUI-fueled police chase in NW suburbs

Henry BenjamIII / Phofrom Kane County State's Attorney's office

Henry Benjamin III / Photo from Kane County State's Attorney's office

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(ST. CHARLES) A man with four previous DUI convictions on his record pleaded guilty to leading police on a chase through several northwest suburbs in March 2011 while he drove with a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit.

The pursuit ended when Henry Benjamin III crashed into a West Dundee police car and several police officers were injured.

Benjamin, 39, of the 100 block of North Mozart Street, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of aggravated DUI and one count of aggravated driving on a revoked license, both Class 2 felonies, according to a release from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office.

About 11:30 p.m. March 12, 2011, Carpentersville police stopped Benjamin on Route 25 for a traffic violation, the release said. Benjamin refused to provide the officer with his driver’s license and proof of insurance, and when he attempted to reach into the center console of his car, the officer became alarmed and a struggle ensued.

Benjamin thn put his vehicle into gear and drove off, dragging the officer with him for a short distance. He led multiple squad cars from multiple jurisdictions on a lengthy chase at speeds over the speed limits south on Route 25, west on Route 68 and west on Route 72 until he lost control of his car and rammed a West Dundee police car at the intersection of Routes 31 and 72 in West Dundee. One of the officers continues to recover from the injuries.

Benjamin was taken into custody, and the investigation revealed that his blood-alcohol concentration was .160, the release said. He faces a larger 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.

Associate Judge Marmarie J. Kostelny accepted the plea and set Benjamin’s next court appearance for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 14 for sentencing. Benjamin faces a sentence of between six and 60 years in prison. He is not eligible for probation.

Benjamin remains in the Kane County Jail, where he had been held since his arrest on $1 million bail. Bond was revoked upon conviction.

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