Viagra-popper busted on sex charge

September 4, 2009 

MANATEE — A 49-year-old man who told deputies he had just taken Viagra was arrested after he allegedly exposed himself to another motorist while driving on State Road 70, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman told deputies she was with her two children driving west on S.R. 70 about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday when Douglas Benkert Jr. pulled his pickup truck alongside her vehicle.

She looked over and saw that he was masturbating, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

The woman slowed down, pulled behind Benkert and called 911.

A deputy stopped Benkert at S.R. 70 East and U.S. 301.

Benkert denied masturbating, saying he was only “adjusting himself,” according to the news release.

He also said that he had just picked up a prescription for Viagra, which is used to treat erectile dysfunction, at a Publix pharmacy and that he had swallowed half of a 100mg tablet, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies found a bottle of Viagra during a search of Benkert’s vehicle.

Benkert, who faces a charge of lewd and lascivious exhibition, was released from the Manatee County jail after posting $10,000 bond.

No charges in drug deal, chase and crash

MANATEE — Detectives continue to investigate a drug deal and car chase that resulted in four people being taken to local hospitals after a SUV collided with a pickup head-on.

Detectives at the sheriff’s office have not charged anyone so far in the case.

According to a news release, an 18-year-old man told investigators he met with a man and woman in a pickup to purchase drugs in the 2700 block of 50th Avenue West at Braden Lake Apartments. He said the man brandished a gun, which he thought was fake, but he ran to his car anyway at a parking lot.

The man and woman chased the teen and he called his father for help while driving.

The teen’s father, who was a passenger in a SUV, was nearby and became involved in the chase. The SUV crashed head-on with the truck in the 4900 block of 34th Street West.

Witnesses said the teen took belongings from his father’s pockets as he lay on the ground ejected from the vehicle. He then fled the scene.

The teen then later returned when he learned deputies were looking for him. He had blood on his clothes from this father, according to authorities.

The teen’s father, who is in critical but stable condition, and the driver of the SUV, who is stable with several broken bones, were taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. The teen’s father suffered a ruptured spleen and numerous broken bones.

— Marc R. Masferrer and Beth Burger

Teen charged with attempted murder

PALMETTO — A teen faces attempted murder charges after he allegedly helped rob a man of a gold necklace and then pistol whipped him several times until the victim was drenched in blood, according to an arrest warrant.

Uriel Ventura, 19, is also charged with armed robbery. He remains in jail on a $1.25 million bond.

Ventura and two other suspects robbed the man after meeting him in the 500 block of 14th Street West on Aug. 30. The man, who met Ventura and the others at a party, offered them beer.

One of the suspects snatched the man’s gold chain. The other suspects offered to get chain back and the man followed them to the 500 block of 13th Street West, according to the warrant. Ventura allegedly loaded a gun and struck him several times in the head.

He then picked up the man’s head by his hair and fired a single shot missing it, according to the warrant.

The three suspects then eventually left the scene, believing the man was dead.

Man bites girlfriend’s ear in fight

BRADENTON — A 44-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly bit his girlfriend’s ear during a fight, according to a Bradenton Police arrest report.

John A. Seavey faces charges of aggravated battery. Police found his girlfriend’s right ear and neck wounded extensively and covered in blood. The woman had to stab Seavey to make him quit biting her, she told authorities.

Seavey reportedly went across the street in the 1800 block of 14th Street West and told authorities he was stabbed because someone tried to rob him. He later said his girlfriend stabbed him, according to the report.

Seavey remained in jail on a $50,000 bond Thursday night, according to the Manatee County jail Web site.

Taxi cab driver robbed

MANATEE — A 58-year-old taxi cab driver was robbed of $150 cash after a man acted like he was going to get money for cab fare out of an apartment, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office news release.

The man told the driver he needed change at 1:59 a.m. Thursday near 60th Street West and 40th Avenue West. When the driver retrieved his wallet, the man punched him and grabbed the wallet tearing it. The man fell backwards with the cash before getting on a bike and riding north.

The man was described as wearing a white tank top.

Anyone with any information can contact the sheriff’s office at 747-3011 or remain anonymous by calling Crimestoppers at (866) 634-TIPS (8477).

— Marc R. Masferrer and Beth Burger

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