Officer Charles Benjamin
Eastern District Officer Wounded During Ambush March 25, 1980, Police Officer Charles H. Benjamin, Eastern District, was wounded on Friday, March 25, 1980 during an apparent ambush. At about 8:30 that evening, Officer Benjamin was on Sinclair Lane. As he approached Homestead Street he was flagged down by a citizen. This simple stop, which has occurred thousands of times was the beginning of a nightmarish few minutes for the officer. Officer Benjamin brought his vehicle to a stop in a nearby parking lot as the person came nearer. Suddenly the person pointed a cloth bag which covered his hand and demanded the officer's portable radio and service revolver. Reacting instinctively Officer Benjamin grabbed his assailant's arm and pulled him partially into his radio car. Gunfire erupted from the bag. Officer Benjamin drew his service revolver which the suspect tried to grab with his free hand. In the struggle the weapon discharged. The suspect wrested free of the officer's grasp, backed away and fired several more times at the officer. The gunfire ended, Officer Benjamin sat in his vehicle, shot in the right hand and upper right thigh. The bizarre incident wasn't over. As he sat wounded he saw an automobile moving in a Westbound direction on Sinclair Lane from the direction of Belair Road. The interior and exterior lighting of this vehicle had been turned off as it cruised toward the shooting scene. As the car drew abreast of Officer Benjamin it stopped, the suspect got in, and it again drove in a Westbound direction. Officer Benjamin drove his vehicle across the street and called for help. Responding officers quickly applied first aid and rushed the stricken officer to a nearby hospital. While in route to the hospital Officer Benjamin gave a description of his assailant which was immediately broadcast to fellow officers throughout the city. Although an intensive search was conducted, the suspects were not found. Officer Benjamin underwent emergency surgery. The following day he was able to assist an artist to draw a likeness of the man who shot him. WANTED WANTED FOR ATTEMPT MURDER OF A POLICE OFFICER Wanted far the shooting of Officer Charles H. Benjamin, Eastern District, is a black male, 5/11 - 6 ft. 180 lbs., muscular build, short close cropped hair, pencil thin mustache, very light skin, very light hair on chin as if growing a beard, spoke with West Indies or Jamaican accent, wearing a green army fatigue combat jacket with draw strings at the bottom buttoned up to the neck, wearing black or blue dress pants. This suspect is armed with a .38 caliber revolver which was concealed in a cloth or canvas bag. Suspect was seen entering a 1969 Dodge Charger, red or burnt orange in color, dark vinyl top, false louvers in the door, the rear of this automobile was slightly elevated, dark license plates, registration undetermined. This vehicle had shiny hubcaps or possible mag wheels, raised white lettering on the sidewalls of the rear tires. Anyone having any information concerning the identity of the above suspect should contact the Homicide Unit at 396-2721.