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Man accused in hit-and-runs, striking police cars in Downtown Austin chase

Austin police chased a man driving a truck through eight city blocks of downtown for more than two minutes. He hit two APD vehicles during the pursuit, police said.
Credit: Austin Police Department
Credit: Austin Police Department

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Police Department officers arrested a man accused in a pair of hit-and-runs who then allegedly led police on a chase through Downtown Austin on Saturday. 

Witnesses told police 30-year-old Benjamin Fletcher hit a woman while leaving Premier Parking, located at 598 Rio Grande St., on Dec. 7. The victim and her friend told police Fletcher's vehicle was speeding out of the garage when it hit her. 

Bystanders, including a pedicab driver, witnessed the hit-and-run and tried to stop Fletcher from leaving the area, according to an arrest affidavit. The affidavit said one bystander stood in front of Fletcher's truck with his arms extended, but ultimately moved out of the way after Fletcher pulled forward anyway. 

Fletcher got stuck behind another car at a red light at the intersection of West Sixth Street and Rio Grande Street, and the same bystander stood in front of the truck with his arms extended again, the affidavit said. Fletcher then revved his engine and accelerated at the bystander. According to the affidavit, the bystander pushed himself onto the hood of the truck, lept over the top of the vehicle and landed on his bottom on the street.

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The pedicab driver – who also witnessed the hit-and-run attempts – told police she began to follow Fletcher after seeing the other bystander fall off of the roof of Fletcher's truck. She told police Fletcher then reversed his truck, struck her pedicab and drove off, running a red light on West Sixth Street in the process.

At 12:23 a.m. on Saturday, two Travis County law enforcement officers attempted to stop Fletcher at the corner of Red River Street and East Fifth Street. Fletcher then pulled into wrong-way traffic and almost hit the officers, the affidavit said. 

Austin police then pursued Fletcher on a chase through eight city blocks of downtown that lasted longer than two minutes. During the pursuit, police said Fletcher hit two separate APD vehicles a total of three times before being tased and arrested. 

APD said that on dashcam video, Fletcher appeared to be laughing about the incident.

Fletcher was booked in Travis County Jail with six total charges: two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of evading arrest, two counts of accident involving injury and one count of driving while intoxicated. 

Fletcher's bonds come to a total of $105,000. 

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