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Chase suspect appears in court

by KEITH KINNAIRD
Hagadone News Network | February 23, 2021 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — The suspect in Friday's police pursuit on U.S. Highway 95 has been identified as Benjamin Ray Fox, according to court documents.

Fox made an initial appearance on Monday in Bonner County Magistrate Court via videoconferencing with the jail. It's unclear in available court documents what his bail was set at, although a public defender has been appointed to represent him.

Fox, 40, is accused of losing control of his vehicle while attempting to southbound overtake traffic using the northbound lane of travel on Friday afternoon. He allegedly crash into two sections of barbed wire fencing along the highway.

An off-duty Idaho State Police detective, Leslie Lehman, witnessed the crash and confronted Fox at the Westmond Store. Fox, an arrest affidavit said, made obscene hand gestures at Lehman and reversed away from her at a high rate of speed, nearly hitting her unmarked police vehicle, the affidavit said.

Fox was arrested at gunpoint after pulling over north of Athol.

Fox is charged with aggravated assault, a felony, for nearly hitting Lehman. He faces additional charges of reckless driving and failing to report a crash.

A preliminary hearing on the felony assault charge is set for March 3 in magistrate court.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and followed on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.