Deputy Sheriff Michael Jay Bentley

Deputy Sheriff Michael Jay Bentley

Kern County Sheriff's Office, California

End of Watch Wednesday, October 19, 1983

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Michael Jay Bentley

Deputy Sheriff Michael Bentley was killed when his cruiser was intentionally rammed by a fleeing armed robbery suspect.

The suspect was fleeing an armed robbery of a convenience store in a stolen pick-up. The suspect changed direction, and before the pursuing deputy could broadcast the direction, he approached Deputy Bentley's unit head-on, explaining later that he saw the vehicle but decided to commit suicide by ramming the patrol car. The subject suffered a cut lip.

The subject was sentenced to life imprisonment but is eligible for parole.

Deputy Bentley was a United States Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran and had served with the Kern County Sheriff's Office for eight years. He was survived by his wife, stepson, parents.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile
  • Offender Sentenced to life

robbery, vehicle pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

View all 29 Reflections

I met Mike just a few days before this incident. We were all looking for the suspect as there were only so many roads he could use. Got the call of the head-on collision and I raced to the scene as fast as I could. I believe as an EMT I was the first medical person on the scene. I was literally ripping the car apart to get access to Mike and help him get out of the patrol car.

We got him on the ground and I put oxygen on him and he started looking better. His color came back and he was making jokes. I figured he was going to make it.

Followed the ambulance down to the hospital and when I walked in I saw they were doing CPR on someone, which turned out to be Mike. Just too much internal damage and the muscles and organs had gone into spasm, but were now relaxing causing Mike to bleed out internally

I tried as hard as I could Mike to keep you going, but it was above my skill level. RIP my friend and brother.

Officer Daniel L Cameron. STO
California Highway Patrol

May 26, 2024

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