Blackfoot man facing charges after slow-speed pursuit

GetMugShotKendra Evensen, kevensen@journalnet.com

BLACKFOOT — A 42-year-old Blackfoot man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly struck a patrol vehicle and led deputies on a short slow-speed pursuit on Thursday night.

Benjamin Mark Briscoe, 42, has been charged with a felony for attempting to elude a police officer in a motor vehicle, and misdemeanors for driving under the influence, possessing a controlled substance, possessing drug paraphernalia with the intent to use it and leaving the scene of an accident, according to Bingham County Magistrate Court records.

Chief Deputy Jeff Gardner with the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office said they received a report of a possible DUI shortly after 11 p.m. on Thursday night. A deputy located the suspect vehicle, which had reportedly been driving south in the northbound lane at a slow rate of speed, on Highway 91 north of Blackfoot.

The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, but it ended up going off the road and up an embankment. Gardner said the deputy, who thought the driver might be having a medical issue, got out of the patrol vehicle and started to approach the suspect.

At that point, Briscoe allegedly put the car in reverse, turned the vehicle around and struck the patrol car’s front bumper in the process. The deputy was not injured in the incident, but the bumper was damaged, Gardner said.

The suspect vehicle then continued on, weaving in and out of both lanes of traffic, Gardner said. The deputy followed in a slow pursuit that only reached speeds of about 13 miles per hour.

Gardner said the driver eventually stopped after traveling a short distance.

Deputies arrested Briscoe at that time. Gardner said Briscoe had marijuana with him and the deputies could smell alcohol. They are sending some evidence to the state lab for further testing in connection to the DUI charge.

A hearing that will determine if there is enough evidence to take the case to trial has been set for Dec. 14.

Following Thursday’s incident, Gardner said they appreciate citizens who report possible DUI situations.

“Citizens act as eyes for us (and it) helps our efforts to reduce DUI crashes or fatalities,” he said.