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Welfare Check Leads to Arrest

A Carmi man is behind bars awaiting a court date following his arrest in Maunie Wednesday morning.  According to the affidavit from White County Sheriff’s authorities, an officer was dispatched to a Morgan Street address to perform a wellness check on 18-year-old Haley Rankin, alleged to be staying with 19-year-old Benjamin Steele at his mother Tabitha’s home.

An unidentified female was outside the camper residence when the officer arrived and confirmed Steele was in the camper.  When officers asked Steele to come to the entrance, the report indicates he appeared in all black clothing and donning a ski mask.  At that point, officers say Steele removed the mask confirming his identity and ran away from the camper attempting to elude capture.

After a pursuit, officers would eventually capture Steele on the train tracks and arrest him on a known warrant along with a fresh citation for Resisting Arrest.  Officers also recovered a Hi-Point 9 mm handgun on the ground.  No one would claim ownership however and the cops confiscated the weapon.  The warrant Steele was wanted on relates to a case originally opened in early December of 2022.  In May of 2023, Steele would be found guilty of Aggravated Battery for strong arming of a non-family member.  The warrant is for Failure to Appear.  When convicted, Steele was originally given a 6-month stayed jail sentence, fined, and given 2 years of probation.

He’ll remain behind bars until he sees a judge based on the manner of his latest arrest.


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