UPDATE: PANOLA CO. – Additional charges have been filed against a Troup man who is accused of aggravated kidnapping, and firing shots during an an incident that ended in a police pursuit.
54-year-old Benny O'Neal Cagle Jr. is also charged with aggravated sexual assault, and injury of a child, elederly disable with intent to do bodily injury.
Cagle is jailed on bonds totaling $235,000.
During a press conference held Friday, Rusk County Sheriff Jeff Price was joined by numerous law enforcement agencies that aided in the apprehension of Cagle Jr.
Sheriff Price said Cagle is accused of kidnapping a female victim, and firing shots during the incident that began in Rusk County around 5:30 a.m. The victim's mother intervened, and tried to stop the kidnapping.
The suspect was arrested following an eight mile chase in Panola County. A deputy spotted Cagle's vehicle near a boat ramp in the Flatwoods Community where the pursuit began. The female victim was able to escape and taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.
Rusk County Sheriff's office is part of a multi-task force that includes the FBI, Secret Service, DPS, and the Texas Game Wardens.
According to Panola County Sheriff Kevin Lake, officers were contacted about a kidnapping which had taken place in Rusk County.
The information indicated that the male suspect had fired shots during the reported kidnapping and was believed to be armed with more than one firearm. It was reported that the suspect had possibly traveled to Panola County with the female victim.
Panola County Sheriff’s Office, Carthage Police Department, Constable’s Office as well as local DPS Troopers and Game Wardens began to search for the suspect vehicle based on information as it was received.
At approximately 10:35 am, officers developed additional information that the suspect was possibly headed to the area of CR 455 in the Flatwoods area near the Yellow-dog Park on the Sabine River. While checking the area, a Panola County Sheriff’s deputy observed a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle on CR 455.
The deputy was able to confirm by the license plate number that it was the suspect vehicle. Earlier reports indicated that the vehicle had two occupants, the suspect and the victim. The deputy advised that the vehicle was occupied by a male driver and a female passenger.
The deputy followed the suspect vehicle until additional patrol deputies arrived in the area to assist in attempting to make a felony traffic stop on the vehicle. Once the officers attempted to stop the suspect vehicle, the driver fled traveling north on CR 455. The pursuit continued on CR 455 through the Flatwoods and Logan communities to FM 3359.
The suspect identified as 54-year-old Benny O’ Neal Cagle Jr. then fled west on FM 3359 for approximately 4 miles before attempting to turn onto CR 462, where he lost control and drove into a nearby woods-line. The suspect then exited the vehicle and fled on foot.
Officers were able to take the victim to the safety of a nearby patrol car while other deputies pursued the armed suspect on foot. Officers were able to surround the perimeter and took the suspect into custody a short time later without incident. The suspect was in possession of a loaded handgun when he was taken into custody.
The victim was transported to the Panola County Sheriff’s Office where she was interviewed by Rusk County authorities.
The suspect was transported to the Panola County Detention Center for the Rusk County charge of Aggravated Kidnapping.
The case will now go before District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson for review, and if any additional criminal charges will be filed in Panola County.