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Belleville driver charged with impaired, dangerous operation and more after allegedly nearly hitting police officer

Photo via Belleville Police

In a harrowing incident in the early hours of Oct. 1, a Belleville police officer narrowly escaped a dangerous situation during a routine traffic stop at the intersection of Station Street and Pinnacle Street.

According to a press release from Belleville Police, the officer was engaged with another driver outside a vehicle during a traffic stop at about 3 a.m., when an unidentified assailant drove towards them, barely missing a collision. Police believe the vehicle “intentionally drove” toward the officer.

The driver swiftly fled the scene, allegedly ignoring a red light and accelerating at an alarming speed. Despite the officer’s attempt to pursue, the high-speed vehicle evaded capture, weaving dangerously through the city streets. Law enforcement chose not to initiate a pursuit, prioritizing public safety, and the vehicle was not located.

An investigation ensued, resulting in the identification the driver.

By 3:30 a.m., the suspect, identified as 23-year-old Derek Bennett of Belleville, was apprehended at his residence.

Upon returning to the police station, police say the suspect provided two breath samples, both of which exceeded the legal alcohol limit. Consequently, Bennett faces a slew of serious charges, including impaired operation of a vehicle, operating a vehicle with over 80mg of alcohol, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, fleeing from the police, failure to obey a red light, and neglecting to yield to an emergency vehicle.

Charges have not been proven in court.

Bennett was released on an undertaking, pending a court appearance scheduled for November.

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