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Bond was set Thursday at $25,000 for a 19-year-old Columbus man who allegedly led city police on high-speed chase down residential streets and a brief foot pursuit that ended in a scuffle with an officer in the yard of a 14th Street residence.

Platte County Court Judge Frank Skorupa set Benito Hernandez's bond, 10 percent allowed for release, on felony charges of violating the state’s sex offender registration act, operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest and several other misdemeanor charges.

The judge scheduled Hernandez for hearing on the felonies Aug. 9.

A sex offender registry violation is a Class 3A felony, punishable by three years in prison, 18 months of post-release supervision and a $10,000 fine.

The defendant is also charged with obstructing a police officer, resisting arrest, false reporting and attempt of a Class IV felony.

Columbus Police received a report July 12 that Hernandez, who was being sought by authorities on an outstanding warrant, was seen in the 1700 block of 12th Street.

When officers began arriving in the area and attempted a traffic stop, according to police, the defendant took off at speeds of approximately 60 mph.

Man gets time served in one case, faces felonies in other

In another county court case, a 24-year-old city man was sentenced to time served for stealing hundreds of dollars from his roommate’s wallet and setting off on foot down 23rd Street before being subdued by police officers.

The judge sentenced Davis Harrington III to 90 days in jail on Thursday. The defendant had already served 94 days in the county jail prior to the court hearing.

Harrington will be coming back to court in connection with being accused of wielding a hatchet and threatening residents in a neighborhood confrontation in the 1800 block of 11th Street earlier this year.

Harrington is charged with use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, terroristic threats and three counts of stalking. All five charges are felony offenses.

A Columbus Police investigation of the incident got underway with a 911 report of the three to four men involved in a loud argument and brandishing hatchets or axes. A second call reported that the men were trying to get into a house at the corner of 18th Avenue and 11th Street.

Witness reports, according to police statements, were that the defendants were involved in loud verbal arguments with neighborhood residents. Officers said witnesses reported the defendants later left only to return waving hatchets.

Skorupa set Harrington for a preliminary hearing in the case on Aug. 9.

Leigh man up for sentencing in sex assault case

In a district court case, a Leigh man is set for sentencing today to a reduced sexual assault charge involving an underage girl at a Columbus residence in 2017.

Defendant Tyler Emerson pleaded to a charge of attempted first-degree sexual assault stemming from an incident while the 15-year-old victim was under the influence of drugs.

In exchange for the 22-year-old Emerson’s plea switch, the county attorney’s office withdrew an initial charge of first-degree sexual assault, a Class II felony punishable by up to 50 years imprisonment and with a mandatory minimum of one year behind bars.

The attempted assault conviction is a Class 2A felony that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

According to court records, a Columbus Police investigation began in July 2017 with Sgt. Bret Strecker interviewing the city girl at NOVA treatment center in Omaha.

The teen reported an incident in February 2017 in which she asked the defendant’s to stop his sexual advances, but he refused while the two were under the influence of LSD at a residence in the 2400 block of 18th Street.

Emerson, Strecker wrote in his probable cause arrest statement, said he thought the teen was 16 or 17 at the time of the sexual contact, but found out a couple of months afterward that she was actually 15 years old and he was 20 at the time.

Jim Osborn is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at

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Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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