A Galveston man shot by a Galveston County Sheriff’s deputy earlier this month at the University of Texas Medical Branch campus has been charged with a felony for his alleged attempted escape from custody.

Dennis Benson, 31, of Galveston, was charged with escape while arrested, a third-degree felony, on July 19, according to documents released by the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday.

Benson was shot in the leg by a sheriff’s office deputy in a parking garage outside the University of Texas Medical Branch emergency room on July 11, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies took Benson to the hospital earlier in the day after he said he ingested a large number of pills while being booked into the county jail on a different charge, according to the sheriff’s office.

Benson attempted to escape custody after he had asked the deputy watching him for a bathroom break, according to the criminal complaint released Thursday.

After his handcuffs were removed from a hospital bed, Benson pushed the deputy and ran out the emergency room, according to the complaint.

The deputy chased Benson into the parking lot, according to the complaint. Benson tripped and fell to the ground as he tried to climb over a wall in the lot, according to the complaint.

The deputy told investigators Benson was ignoring his commands and the deputy shot him in the leg to “prevent his escape and protect the public,” according to the complaint.

Benson required surgery after being shot and was still at the hospital as of Thursday afternoon, Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said.

Benson had previously been charged with a felony drug offense, according to court records. His combined bond is $400,000, according to jail records.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


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