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Man charged after driving into patrol car, changing outfit in nearby store and hiding from police

Demetrius Leon Bennett.jpg
Posted at 1:21 PM, Jul 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 11:18:10-04

WESTLAKE, Ohio — A potential shoplifter’s escape plan was foiled by police Friday evening in Westlake after he crashed a car into a cruiser and then tried to hide in another store after changing his outfit.

Demetrius Leon Bennett, 27, is charged with felonious assault. He is being held on a $500,000 bond.

Police responded to Crocker Park just before 8 p.m. when security alerted them to two possible shoplifters at the Apple store. According to police, when security approached the men, Bennett jumped in a white Chevrolet Impala and fled down an alley that ended in a dead end.

Bennett tried to back out of the alley but was met by a Westlake police cruiser. Undeterred, he backed into the cruiser several times before bailing out and running into Dick’s Sporting Goods, authorities said.

Police said that while inside the store, Bennett changed his shirt and tried to hide from officers. The store was evacuated and he was found in a stairwell and taken into custody. Bennett was later transported to a nearby hospital for an unknown medical issue.

Police said Bennett has outstanding warrants from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The other man was identified and released, police said.

Westlake police said further charges against Bennett are expected.

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