Officials with the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office announced Monday that the Sept. 1 police shooting of Elkhart resident Jaime Benavidez did not violate Indiana law.
According to the release, officers with the Elkhart Police Department were called to the 300 block of West Hubbard Avenue at 2 p.m. to investigate reports of a burglary. Upon arriving at the scene, police reportedly chased Benavidez, 27, and a 14-year-old boy south from Hubbard Avenue. The teen was arrested without incident, however Benavidez reportedly continued running to 328 Lusher Ave., where he was shot by police after pointing a gun at the responding officers. Benavidez was then transported to Elkhart General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Three officers participated in the Benavidez police-action shooting: Sgt. Karl Miller, Cpl. Bruce Anglemeyer and Cpl. James Ballard.
According to the release, the case has been reviewed by Prosecuting Attorney Curtis Hill and found to document evidence that Benavidez did possess a handgun, which he utilized in a threatening manner toward police; he was substantially under the influence of a controlled substance and alcohol at the time of his actions; and he threatened the safety and security of the citizens of Elkhart, which directly precipitated his death. As such, the release noted the officers used reasonable force under the circumstances and therefore did not violate Indiana law.
Help sought in catching thief
Elkhart police are asking for the public’s help in identifying two females suspected of stealing a purse from an Elkhart Subway restaurant earlier this month. According to police, a female customer went into Subway, 175 C.R. 6 West, Elkhart, at approximately 7:18 p.m. Oct. 16, and purchased food items. Upon leaving, she reportedly left her purse containing numerous credit cards, personal information and a large amount of cash. At 7:33 p.m., security video from Subway and Walmart show two females stealing the purse and walking out of the building. Anyone with information regarding the theft is asked to contact Detective S. Mock at 574-389-4732.
A man told Elkhart County police that two males and a female in a red Dodge Avenger pointed a handgun at him while at the intersection of Ind. 15 and U.S. 20 near Bristol around 6:47 p.m. Saturday.
Goshen police were dispatched to the call of a suspicious person in the area of College and Sixteenth streets in Goshen at 1:48 a.m. Monday. The caller told police the person took off running when approached. Police located a 15-year-old male in the area of Cottage and Reynolds streets. The juvenile was asked by police what he was doing and told police he was running away from home and had cut off his electronic monitor. The juvenile was placed in the care of the Juvenile Detention Center.
• Leeann Saputo, 55586 Alverstone Drive, Middlebury, told Elkhart County police someone stole her mailbox in the overnight hours Saturday.
• Jami Pepper, 210 S. 10th St., Goshen, told Goshen police someone burglarized her residence at 12:30 a.m. Sunday.
• James Edward, 20, 1220 E. Reynolds St., Goshen, was arrested by Goshen police on a charge of theft at 3:34 p.m. Sunday. Ashley Brandau, 1207 E. Reynolds St., Goshen, reported the theft of her son’s 20-inch black Genesis bicycle from her yard. The bicycle was later recovered at 221 Olive St.. Edward was released on a memorandum to appear int he Goshen City Court.
• Sara Medina, 46, 813 McDonald Drive, Elkhart, was arrested by Goshen police on a charge of theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor at Kohl’s, 3802 Midway Road, Goshen, at 5:22 p.m. Sunday. She was incarcerated at the Elkhart County jail.
• Issac Cardona of Quality Claims told Goshen police a stove and water heater were stolen from a foreclosed home at 918 N. Sixth St., Goshen, at 1:33 p.m. Monday.
• Daniel W. Kling, 708 E. Reynolds St., Goshen, told Goshen police a Surround Sound stereo system was stolen from his residence at approximately midnight Sept. 1.
• Karl Anway, 2654 Alpine Fir Lane, Goshen, told Goshen police a gift card that was mailed to him Oct. 15 was likely stolen while in transit via U.S. Mail to his apartment mailbox in Goshen.
• Dustin McDonald, 10039 C.R. 4, Middlebury, told Elkhart County police someone entered his residence by forcing open a window between 10:45 and 11:15 a.m. Monday and removed a Playstation 3 video game system and various video games.
• Andrea Nine, Goshen, told Elkhart County police someone fraudulently withdrew $97 from her checking account at 11:24 a.m. Monday.
Battery reports, arrests
• Steve Green, 53, 2155 E. U.S. 20, LaGrange, was arrested by LaGrange County police on charges of domestic battery in the presence of a child under 16 and strangulation during a fight at the residence at 2:06 a.m. Sunday. He was incarcerated at the county jail.
• A Bristol woman at 603 W. Hawthorne St., Bristol told Elkhart County police of being punched in the face by her 16-year-old daughter at 2:30 p.m. Friday.
Vandalism/criminal mischief reports
• Christine Perry, 16405 Ind. 120, Bristol, told Elkhart County police someone damaged a truck sometime Sunday, which had been parked in her driveway and was unlocked. A plastic dashboard panel was pulled loose and a hammer was stolen from the vehicle.
• Diseree Wilson, 301 Arbor Court, Goshen, told Goshen police someone used soap to write on her car window and poured syrup on the car during the overnight hours Saturday.
• Christine Perry, 16405 Ind. 120, Bristol, told Elkhart County police someone damaged a truck parked at her residence at midnight Sunday by pulling a plastic dashboard panel loose. Perry also reported a hammer being stolen from the vehicle.
• Gerado Fuentes-Reyes, 31, 1321 S. Eighth St., Goshen, was arrested by Elkhart County police on a charge of operating a vehicle while never being licensed during a traffic stop at C.R. 20, west of Ind. 15 in Goshen at 4:48 p.m. Friday. He was transported to the Elkhart County jail.
• Dane Doremus, 45, N. 1150 West, Lot 66, Shipshewana, was arrested by Elkhart County police on a charge of disorderly conduct at Ind. 120, east of C.R. 19 in Elkhart at 10:15 p.m. Saturday. He was transported to the Elkhart County Jail.
• An employee of Elkhart County Community corrections, 201 N. Cottage Ave., Goshen, reported finding synthetic marijuana on an inmate at 11:45 a.m. Monday.
• Brandon Russell, 25, 22116 Farmwood Drive, Bristol, was arrested by Elkhart County police on a charge of driving while intoxicated during a traffic stop for violations on C.R. 18, west of C.R. 17 in Elkhart at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. He was incarcerated at the Elkhart County Jail.
• Ervin Bontrager, 24, 700 S. Ind. 5, Shipshewana, was stopped for a traffic violation by Elkhart County police on C.R. 127, near C.R. 56 in Millersburg. He was arrested on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and incarcerated at the Elkhart County Jail.
• Drew Nagy, 26, 1236 Romaine Ave., Elkhart, was arrested by Elkhart County police on a charge of driving while under the influence during a traffic stop at Ind. 15 and Ind. 120 near Bristol at 12:51 a.m. Sunday. He was incarcerated at the Elkhart County Jail.
• Jesus Reyes, 36, 1204 E. Plymouth Ave., Goshen, left the scene after crashing into a street sign at U.S. 33 in Elkhart at 3:19 a.m. Sunday. He was arrested by Elkhart County police on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and incarcerated at the Elkhart County Jail.
• Jacob Alan Barnes, 18, 845 E. Indiana Ave., Elkhart, was stopped for speeding in the 400 block of Elkhart Road by Goshen police at 12:42 p.m. Monday. He was arrested on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and transported to the Elkhart County jail.