GALVESTON

The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office will review procedures for shuttling prisoners to and from hospitals after a Thursday incident during which a deputy shot a man attempting to escape custody, Sheriff Henry Trochesset said.

“We’re going to discuss this and discuss what kind of training needs to occur so this kind of thing doesn’t happen again,” Trochesset said.

Deputy Edward Benavidez Jr. shot Dennis Raynard Benson, 31, of Galveston, in the leg after Benson attempted to flee while being moved from the University of Texas Medical Branch emergency room to a sheriff’s office vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office.

Benson survived the shooting, which occurred in a parking garage, but required surgery Thursday evening. He was still being treated at the medical branch on Friday, but his exact status was not available.

The Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting, Trochesset said. It’s typical for an outside agency to investigate an officer-involved shooting.

The Texas Department of Public Safety did not respond Friday to questions about the Rangers’ investigation.

But aside from the shooting investigation, the sheriff’s office will review its protocols for escorting people to and from hospitals, Trochesset said.

The attempted escape came hours after Benson arrived at the hospital, according to the sheriff’s office.

Benson had been arrested in Galveston’s 405th District Court at about 9:40 a.m. Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office. Benson was attending a status hearing on two felony charges for which he was out on bond, according to the sheriff’s office.

At that hearing, authorities learned Benson was wanted on a new warrant charging him with manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance and he was arrested, according to the sheriff’s office.

Benson told deputies he had ingested a “large quantity” of narcotics, according to the sheriff’s office. He was evaluated by the jail’s medical staff, and sent to the medical branch for more evaluation, according to the sheriff’s office.

Trochesset said he didn’t know whether Benson had ingested drugs or told deputies he had with an escape attempt in mind.

He would leave it for the Ranger investigation to conclude exactly how Benson managed his short escape attempt, he said.

Benavidez was the only officer watching Benson at the time of the escape attempt, Trochesset said.

Benavidez, a deputy since 2011, is on administrative leave after the shooting, which is standard procedure during the investigation of officer-involved shootings, he said.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

(1) comment

Randy Chapman

Better training should include more time at the range.

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