Man attempts to elude police

By Tova Fruchtman: CNJ staff writer

A man arrested in Portales for an outstanding warrant in Curry County tried to escape Saturday night while being transported from the Portales jail to Curry County, officials said.

Paul Bennet, 46, broke the back window of Deputy Glen Russ’ patrol car with his head, then squeezed out the window as the car slowed to a stop around 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Curry County Sheriff Roger Hatcher said.

Russ then chased Bennet, caught him, shot him with a taser gun and held him down until backup arrived, Hatcher said.

Bennet and Russ were both taken to the emergency room at Plains Regional Medical Center. Russ had been hit in the knee with a rock Bennet threw at him, Hatcher said.

“(Bennet) busted his head and he’s got quite a bit of road rash,” said Hatcher, who was in the emergency room with them around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Hatcher said Bennet would be transported to the jail as soon as he was released from the hospital.

Hatcher said Bennet broke a pair of plastic handcuffs Russ had placed on him for the transport and then broke the window to escape.

Bennet was brought into the Portales jail at 4:26 p.m. on Saturday, according to a corrections officer there. The Portales officer said Bennet was quiet and subdued when he was brought in.

He was charged with possession of methamphetamine and negligent use of a deadly weapon, Hatcher said. Now, Bennet will also be charged with escape, aggravated assault on an officer and destruction of public property, Hatcher said.