(3-25-21)The driver of a van that led law enforcement on a high-speed chase Tuesday through Allen and Auglaize counties has been identified as Benjamin Travis Wiedenhoeft (30) of Ft. Wayne. An unidentified female passenger in the van has not yet been charged in the incident. Wiedenhoeft was hospitalized following the chase. He is expected to be arraigned Thursday.

Current charges:

  • FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ORDER OR SIGNAL OF P.O._ELUDE OR FLEE
  • 2913.51 RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY

Wiedenhoeft has outstanding warrants in DeKalb County, Indiana, for failure to appear and theft and in Allen County, Indiana, for a probation violation and the possession of methamphetamines.

Two Allen County Sheriff deputies were treated for minor injuries at an area hospital and were released on Tuesday evening.

At approximately 12:19 p.m. on Tuesday Allen County Sheriff deputies attempted to stop a cargo van on Interstate 75 just south of Lima on a stolen vehicle complaint. The vehicle fled at a high rate of speed into Auglaize County.

The chase went along U.S. 33 before ending near Short Road and Dixie Highway around 1:30 p.m. and a man and woman were taken into custody.

RELEASE – From Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office

On March 23rd, 2021 at approx. 12:21, the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office was advised of a vehicle pursuit, involving the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, which was currently on I-75, southbound, approaching Auglaize County.  The vehicle was wanted in connection to a possible theft and stolen vehicle.

Once the pursuit crossed into Auglaize County, several area Departments joined in.  The pursuit went thru numerous areas of Auglaize County. Several properties were damaged by the suspect vehicle and further damage was done to highway fences, winter wheat and some minor damage to Sheriff’s cruisers. 

The male driver, later identified as Benjamin T. Wiedenhoeft, threatened to shoot police and the other occupant in the vehicle, if police did not back off.  The pursuit continued and stop sticks were deployed by multiple agencies, at different locations during the pursuit.

The suspect vehicle came to a stop in a field just south of Wapakoneta. The male subject fled on foot for a short distance but was located and placed into custody.  The female also fled on foot but later located and detained.

During the incident, two Auglaize County Sheriff’s Deputies sustained minor injuries.  Both Deputies have been treated and will return to work on March 24th

Benjamin T. Wiedenhoeft, (30), from Ft. Wayne Indiana, was arrested and charged with 1 Ct of Flee and Elude,  Ohio Revised Code 2921.331, a Felony of the 3rd degree and 1 Ct. Receiving Stolen Property, Ohio Revised Code 2913.51, a Felony of the 4th degree.  Benjamin is currently being held in the Auglaize County Correctional Center.  The 25 yoa female from Angola Indiana, was later released.

Assisting in the pursuit was the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, Wapakoneta Police Department, Waynesfield Police Department, Cridersville Police Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Wapakoneta Fire and EMS.

The Incident remains under investigation and no further comment can be made at this time.