REDDING – Two wanted men were arrested by the Redding Police yesterday, but not before they held them at bay for nearly two hours.
Benson Thomas Hodges III had been on Redding’s “Most Wanted” list since last November. The most wanted program publicizes people who have been convicted and skipped out on their sentencing while on bail. The 24-year-old Hodges had been charged with receiving stolen property, and had additional warrants out, including one for felony evading pursuit. Police received a tip that he and another young man were at the Cambridge Apartments in Locust Street.
The other man turned out to be 26-year-old Jesse Randy Bryant, who is an at-large parolee wanted for violation of his parole. Bryant was arrested in 2007 for an incident when he was 19. According to a story published in the Redding Record Searchlight, he was at Bert & Ernie’s Sports Bar, and was served alcohol at least 5 times on the evening of July 20. Bryant was even driven home by the bar’s courtesy van. Another patron, 34-year-old Joshua Gorman also rode the van, and claims to have not wanted to wait for his own stop, and got off with Bryant, intending to call for a ride. Bryant invited Gorman in for more drinks, bragged about being allowed to drink at the bar because he had a bouncer friend, and challenged his new drinking buddy to a fight.
The two agreed to wrestle on the front lawn, and when Gorman won, he claimed that Bryant then challenged him to a fist fight. Gorman told police he was then walking away, and Bryant attacked him with a baseball bat. By then it was morning, and a neighbor witnessed Bryant hit the man at least six times. She called 911 and shouted for Bryant to stop. He was arrested with blood on his hands and a meat cleaver in his pocket, which he apparently never used. Gorman needed surgery, and ended up with a metal plate in his head. He sued Bert & Ernie’s for serving liquor to the underage man who attacked, and Bryant was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to assault with a deadly weapon.
Bryant and Benson Hodges were at the Cambridge Apartments when police arrived at 3:20 in the afternoon yesterday. When they saw the police they both ducked into apartment #14. Seeing them flee, officers demanded that they come out and give themselves up. They refused, and officers placed a perimeter around the building. Hodges spoke to the police through the window, and challenged them to come in and get them. Knowing the history of violence both of them had, the police decided to stay outside and try to convince them to come out, while in the meantime, the tenants in the other apartments were evacuated for safety.
After 90 minutes, the two must have realized their options were out, and they finally gave up. They were both taken into custody without further incident. Hodges was booked for his three outstanding warrants, and Bryant was booked for parole violations and both were charged with delaying and obstructing officers. They await hearings at the Shasta County Jail.
Redding Record Searchlight: 2 men in custody after Locust Street standoff
Redding.com: Redding man sues bar over beating