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More charges expected for Rusk County aggravated kidnapping suspect

By Staff Reports
March 10, 2017 at 2:38 p.m.
Updated March 10, 2017 at 5:49 p.m.

Rusk County Sheriff Jeff Price speaks Friday during a press conference about an aggravated kidnapping earlier in the week that turned into a multi-agency pursuit.

HENDERSON — More charges are expected against the suspect in an aggravated kidnapping this week in the Price community, local, state and federal officials said Friday.

Benny O’Neal Cagle, 53, of Troup was being held Friday in the Rusk County Jail under $200,000 bond.

He was arrested Wednesday morning in Panola County after the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a kidnapping in Price, which is west of Henderson. Police said a woman had been taken against her will at gunpoint from a residence on CR 497.

The victim’s mother, attempting to prevent the abduction, also was injured, police said.

Rusk officers notified other area law enforcement agencies and a few hours later Panola County officers spotted Cagle’s vehicle on CR 455 and attempted to stop it. Police said Cagle fled in the vehicle with the victim, resulting in an eight-mile chase that ended when Cagle lost control of the vehicle.

PREVIOUS STORY: Rusk County kidnapping leads to Panola County arrest

He fled on foot into a wooded area but was soon captured without incident by the Panola County Sheriff’s Office.

Rusk County Sheriff Jeff Price said at a news conference Friday investigators were not sure of a motive for the kidnapping.

“At this moment, it was boyfriend/girlfriend and I believe they were in the middle of a possible breakup at the time,” he said of the victim and Cagle.

Price said the pursuit and apprehension of Cagle was a multi-agency effort involving the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, Panola County Sheriff’s Office, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Troup Police Department, Carthage Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation Tyler Field Office, United States Secret Service, Texas Rangers, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife and Louisiana State Police.

Panola County Sheriff Kevin Lake said a possible kidnapping situation always gets the attention of officers.

“That raises the bar just a little bit when we knew we have a victim in the vehicle as well,” he said. “We have to take those things into consideration when we engage in the pursuit.”

Lake said investigators were able to work quickly to get information from residents in Troup and elsewhere, which contributed to the speed of the apprehension.

Price said cooperation made the difference.

“It happened so quick that it all fell into place,” he said. “We were all working well together and everybody was sharing information.”

Federal agents were brought in to provide manpower, the officials said.

“We all have our expertise, and we all work together to solve the crime,” said Brent Chambers, the FBI agent in charge of East Texas.

Said Price: “We’re all on the same team. And everybody can bring different assets to the table to help in situations like this. The more people we have, the more information and tools we have to work with.”

If convicted on the kidnapping charge, Cagle could face up to 99 years in prison.



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