Cumberland Times-News

Local News

June 12, 2014

Florida fugitive 'trying to take' the victim's dog

CUMBERLAND — Florida police said Thursday it was the apparent interest in a man’s pit bull that led to criminal charges and this week’s arrest of a Baker County man at a Rawlings residence.

Phillip Arnold Bennett III, 26, of Jacksonville was arrested late Tuesday after the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office received information that Bennett, who was wanted in Florida on felony charges, may be at a Cool Breeze Drive residence in Rawlings.

Deputies searched the residence and found Bennett hiding beneath a bed before he was taken into custody without incident.

Thursday, Baker County Sheriff’s Office Lt. B. Dougherty detailed the incident that led to charges against Bennett, who is now jailed at the Allegany County Detention Center pending extradition to Florida.

The incident occurred in the Glen St. Mary’s area of Baker County on May 23 between 11 p.m. and midnight, according to the police report.

“The victim said he heard a commotion outside his residence, checked and found a person in his front yard who took off running. The victim chased the suspect for some distance before the suspect turned around and pointed a handgun at the victim and told him to quit chasing him.

“The victim and his brother later picked Bennett out of a police lineup as the man that had trespassed onto his property and then pointed a handgun at him,” said Dougherty.

Investigation determined the victim did not know the accused but the men had encountered each other at a convenience store when the victim had his pit bull with him.

“Bennett inquired about the dog and asked if he could buy him. He was told the dog was not for sale,” said Dougherty.

“Apparently he was on the victim’s property on May 23 seeking and trying to take the victim’s dog.”

Bennett is wanted in Baker County on charges of convicted felon in possession of a handgun, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and felony trespassing in connection with the recent Baker County incident.

Jeffrey Alderton may be contacted at

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