The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) says Ben T. Henson, 23, of St. Peters Missouri led troopers and police on quite a chase Sunday night. It lasted less than 30 minutes and covered about eight miles before he was finally caught.
It was along the eastbound lane of I-40, right by Morgan Road exit, that troopers pulled over Henson for an unsafe lane change and for following cars too close.
The OHP says Henson was sitting handcuffed inside the responding officers front seat while the officer finished up his report outside. Somehow, Henson managed to squirm into the driver's seat and take off down the highway in the troopers car, even with the Trooper's K-9, Cache, sitting right there in the backseat.
OHP Lt. John Vincent says it was one of the department's worst fears come true.
“The K-9 itself is a police officer just like the rest of us,” said Vincent. “And we were very concerned for him.”
Troopers were also concerned since besides Cache, one of the trooper's guns was also inside the car. An All-Points Bulletin went out and Oklahoma City police assisted in the search.
Vincent says it was the OCPD helicopter that managed to find the trooper's car near SW 36th and Thomas Rd. But Henson was gone. Troopers found him about a half a mile away hiding in the nearby creek - still in handcuffs.
“We're just very fortunate that nobody was hurt, and the K-9 officer was unharmed,” said Vincent.
As it turns out, a dead end at the end of a business cul-de-sac was the end of the road for Henson, who crashed the trooper's cruiser into a gate, but wasn't able to break through. Despite a little damage to the fence, nothing else was damaged.
Vincent tells News 9 the trooper, his vehicle and even Cache the K-9 are back in service despite their rough night.
Henson is being held in the Canadian County jail on a $40,000 bond. He faces several felonies including drug possession, larceny, eluding police, and leaving the scene of an injury accident, but more charges be added pending the outcome of the OHP investigation.