TITUSVILLE, Fla. – A man wanted in a violent home invasion, rape, and kidnapping as part of a multi-day crime spree across Florida was taken into custody Thursday. Officers deployed the Taser during the arrest as the wanted man tried to flee. The incident was captured on the officer’s bodycam video.
Titusville Police Department told FOX35 that Benjamin Victor Hovan, 32, was arrested just after 12:00 p.m. Thursday when the suspect was spotted by police pumping gas. He tried to make his getaway before he was brought down by the officer using a Taser.
“It feels pretty good because he could have stopped. No one else got hurt; now he is where he needs to be for the time being,” Officer Austin Quinn told FOX35.
Hovan was wanted by authorities for several crimes. The suspect is accused of pistol-whipping an elderly woman who was feeding her cats in the Miami area. Moreover, he stole her Mercedes as well. According to law enforcement officials, he later entered an apartment in the Orlando suburb of Casselberry last Saturday occupied by two women. After raping one woman, police said Hovan kidnapped the two and drove them to a supermarket to retrieve cash from an ATM.
One of the victims asked a store employee to call 911 and police officers met up with the women. Hovan fled the scene and abandoned the stolen vehicle on Tuesday.
In body camera footage released by Titusville Police, the officer can be seen approaching Hovan and telling him to get on the ground. As another officer approaches to place him in handcuffs, he jumped up and tried to get away.
“It was pretty high paced, because I didn’t know he had a weapon on him,” Quinn told FOX35. “I had cause to stop him, I was pretty sure he was who I thought he was.”
Casselberry Police said Hovan’s arrest ended a five-day crime spree, and that the 32-year-old is wanted for questioning by law enforcement across the state in a variety of crimes.
“We’re very happy he’s no longer on the streets, for everybody. He was traveling a long distance, committing any crime he could,” said Casselberry Police Capt. Brenda Brandenberger.