By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Man who grabbed charity jar here caught
Arrest follows two-state chase, manhunt
Michael Lane Benjamin - photo by Courtesy Liberty County Sheriff's Department
A Florida man allegedly responsible for a multi-jurisdictional chase through Liberty County and Jasper County, S.C. Monday was arrested early Wednesday morning in Laurens County.
Officials from the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office were able to confirm Michael Lane Benjamin was apprehended between 4 and 4:30 a.m. following a car chase that ended when he crashed into sheriff’s vehicles and then attempted to flee on foot.
Reportedly, a deputy on routine patrol came upon a Black Honda Accord that was parked on the side of the road with no tag and the emergency lights on. The deputy pulled behind the vehicle and turned on his spotlight, and the driver of the suspect vehicle sped away.
After striking sheriff’s vehicles, the suspect jumped from the driver’s seat and tried to flee on foot but deputies were able to apprehend him and placed him under arrest.
Two days earlier, Benjamin reportedly fled law enforcement authorities after stealing a jar of coins and bills from the El Cheapo gas station in South Newport near Riceboro.
The money was meant to benefit the Liberty County High School football team.
An employee of El Cheapo said the manager of the store immediately notified authoritities the jar had been taken.
The suspect was reportedly bold enough to stop at another El Cheapo at exit 76 in Midway where he bought gas and cigars.
An employee of the business told the Courier the man acted very casual and unassuming.
A video from the store’s surveillance cameras was able to help authorities identify the suspect.
Deputies dispatched to the Riceboro business located the suspect at the Midway business and that’s when the earlier chase began.
This chase ended in Jasper County when the subject’s vehicle — reportedly stolen from a location in Florida — slammed into a car and then careened into a tree.
The suspect fled on foot and eluded authorities until Wednesday.
Benjamin is currently being held in Laurens County with no bond.
It was reported Benjamin initially gave officers an incorrect name but his identification was confirmed through fingerprints.
He faces charges of DUI, aggravated assault on an officer and giving officers a wrong name.
Benjamin also has charges pending in Liberty County relating to numerous traffic offenses and robbery by snatching, and faces more charges in Jasper County.
Sign up for our e-newsletters