Terrain-battered fugitive caught by armed resident



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From staff reports

A Round Mountain man, facing a parole violation, led authorities on a vehicle and foot pursuit around Burnet County, until his temporary getaway was halted the following day by an armed property owner responding to a phone alert about the fugitive.

This incident shows the power of cooperation between law enforcement and the public. The reverse 911 system allowed us to quickly get information out to the public in the area of this incident,” said Burnet County Sheriff's Capt. Chris Jett in a statement. “The arrest of this suspect was the result of alert citizens making phone calls based upon the information that they had received.”

On June 18 at approximately 2:40 p.m., BCSO deputies attempted to stop a vehicle driven by Benjamin Willis Becker, 40, in the 7200 block of Park Road 4.

Becker led deputies on a short vehicle pursuit which ended at the Hoover Valley Country Store, the report stated. “Becker then fled on foot into the very rugged terrain behind the store and fell down several feet into a ravine.”

The BCSO K9 unit and a Department of Public Safety helicopter assisted in the search.

Burnet County communications activated the reverse 911 system to notify area residents of the suspect’s description and last known location,” the statement read. “BCSO deputies and officers from other agencies looked for Becker until approximately 9:30 PM.

It was believed that Becker had injured himself in the fall into the ravine and that he would eventually seek medical attention.”

On June 19 at 8:16 a.m., BCSO communications received a call from the front gate of Camp Longhorn, 1000 Indian Springs Road.

The caller reported that Becker had arrived at their front gate and asked to use a phone,” the report stated. “Becker left the area on foot before deputies could arrive.
“Deputies quickly set up a perimeter in the area of County Road 143 and the reverse 911 system was again activated to notify area residents of the suspect’s updated location and description,” he stated.

At 9:08 a.m., BCSO dispatchers received a 911 call from a resident in the 400 block of CR 143.

The caller stated that he had located the suspect lying in a creek bed on his property and was holding him at gunpoint,” according to the BCSO statement. “The caller stated that he had received the reverse 911 alert, and when he walked his property, his dog had located Becker asleep in a creek bed.”

Deputies arrived and took Becker into custody without incident. EMS was called to the scene “to evaluate Becker for injuries sustained during his night on the run in the wilderness.”

He was dehydrated and scratched up but otherwise uninjured.”

He was transported to the Burnet County Jail and booked on the warrant for an Austin-based burglary of a habitation charge. As of June 20, he remained in custody.

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