Afternoon nap in a stolen car in a ditch leads to jail cell


Thanks in part to his decision to take an afternoon nap in his car, an Austell man found himself with overnight accommodations in the Fayette County Jail.

According to a spokesman with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, deputies answered a call during the noon hour July 17 regarding a suspicious vehicle parked on Hewell Road. The car was found off the roadway and appeared to be stuck in a ditch.

The suspect was asleep inside the vehicle, and the deputy who woke him up smelled alcohol. That led to an attempted field sobriety test, during which time the suspect gave the deputy a few different false names. Then he decided he wanted to get away from the law, so he ran away but was caught and restrained after a brief foot chase.

The vehicle was reported stolen out of Norcross. The suspect had several debit cards belonging to other people as well as check that were not made out to him. He had three driver’s licenses in other people’s names, a bag of marijuana and a couple of cell phones, according to the FCSO spokesman.

Eliyahu Benyamin, 22, was placed under arrest without incident after the foot chase. According to the county jail log, he faces felony charges of theft by receiving stolen property and financial identity fraud. Other charges include driving with a suspended license, giving a false name to an officer, marijuana possession, obstruction of an officer, driving with suspended registration, possession/use of drug-related objects, no insurance, forgery in the fourth degree, license plate used to conceal ID, and expired/no registration/title.

Another traffic stop that led to multiple felony charges took place shortly after 4 a.m. July 16 at Hwy. 314 and Smithstone Path. The stop was made because the vehicle had no working tail lights, according to the FCSO spokesman.

The deputy approached the vehicle and smelled marijuana as soon as the driver rolled down his window. Marijuana and Ecstasy were found inside the vehicle, as well as a firearm.

Cedric Robinson, 31, of Jonesboro was arrested and charged with drug possession/sale/manufacture and possession of a firearm/knife in commission of a crime.