A short high-speed chase Tuesday afternoon outside of Brooklet ended with a PIT maneuver and the arrest of a man for a stolen vehicle and aggravated assault against a peace officer.
Brooklet Police Lieutenant Brandi Stock said the department received a call at 4:20 p.m. from a concerned citizen about a man in a red pick-up truck who was driving into oncoming traffic. The caller said the truck had pulled into the Enmark store on Highway 80 and North Cromley Road in Brooklet.
Upon arriving at the store, Stock said she checked the North Carolina license plate and learned the truck was reported stolen on March 2. The caller then pointed out the man to Stock, who would later be identified as Virgil D. Bedenbaugh, as the driver of the truck in question.
“The driver appeared to be under the influence and when he opened his driver’s side door, several opened cans of beer were clearly visible,” Stock said. “I ordered him not to get in the vehicle and he told me, ‘Leave me alone,’ and repeated that after I ordered him to get out of the vehicle.”
Stock said Bedenbaugh then put the truck in reverse and tried to back into her, but she was able to avoid the vehicle.
A chase began on Cromley Road, heading north. Stock said deputies with the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office joined the chase on Brooklet-Leefield Road and reached speeds of 85mph on the way to the Stilson-Leefield Road intersection.
Stock said deputies instigated a PIT maneuver just past the intersection on P.W. Clifton Road that forced Bedenbaugh to stop the vehicle about 4:35 p.m., where he was arrested. Stock said neither the deputies nor Bedenbaugh suffered any injuries in the incident.
Bedenbaugh faces charges of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, felony theft by receiving stolen property for the truck and aggravated assault against a peace officer. Other charges are pending.
Bedenbaugh was booked into the Bulloch County Jail and is awaiting further action.