Montgomery work-release inmate goes on joyride

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The trustee inmate who led Montgomery police on a chase through town Monday night is being identified today.

The chase started on Interstate 65 near the Millbrook-Coosada exit, and the man behind the wheel of the white, 15 passenger prison van with an Alabama state seal on the side was a convict named Tennyson Bender.

Around 6:40pm Monday an Alabama state trooper spotted the van along the interstate.

"We actually got a call from the inmate on a state trooper's telephone," said Brian Corbett with the Department of Corrections. "They [troopers] had stopped to help him on the interstate saying he had broken down."

The trooper left and within a matter of minutes officials had, "...sent a wrecker from the Draper [Prison] garage, and then some officers to go and look for him..." said Corbett. "We couldn't find him on the interstate."

An alert went out, a tag number and, finally, a hit.

By midnight, Montgomery police trapped Bender inside the Highland Park Community. He resisted arrest and ended up getting tased and bitten by one of the K-9 dogs.

What makes the story odd is that Bender was on work-release, doing the job he was being paid to do. "He didn't wanna come back when he was supposed to and went on a joyride it looks like," Corbett said.

An ambulance took Bender to Jackson Hospital and later he was taken back to the home he's lived at for more than 4 years , Draper Prison.

Bender, convicted on theft charges, was just two years away from possible parole.

Now it looks like he'll face additional charges.