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PRESS RELEASES – 2011

TWO PEOPLE FOUND MURDERED

DECEMBER 18, 2011

     The Ridgeland Police Department is investigating a double homicide at 163 Heron Crossing Road Apartment 102.  Officers responded to a welfare check at 9:20 Saturday night where they found a partially open back door.  After gaining entry to the residence officers discovered two victims, both with multiple gunshot wounds.  The victims have been identified as Chad Kyle Beckett, 22, of 37 Snookie Lane and Tameeka Nicole Welch, 35, of 163 Heron Crossing Road Apartment 102.  Both bodies have been transported to MUSC in Charleston for autopsy. No other information will be available until Monday.

 If you have any information that could assist in this investigation, you are asked to contactLieutenant D. Litchfield (843-726-7509) or Investigator C. McIntosh (843-717-1035) at the Ridgeland Police Department.

BOBOP’S CONVENIENCE STORE ROBBED

DECEMBER 15, 2011

     Ridgeland Police officers respond to an armed robbery at the new Bobops gas station at 8548 Grahamville Road on Thursday morning when two unidentified black males entered the store around 1:20 a.m. wearing masks and gloves.  One suspect stayed with the cashier while the other went behind the counter and removed 2 plastic bags from his pockets.  After removing all the cash from the registers and several packs of cigarettes both suspects fled the store and ran to Henry Lawton Road where they had a vehicle waiting.  Bobops clerk Jackie Frazier activated the store’s panic alarm after the suspects fled.        

       If you have any information on the identity of the suspects pictured here please call 911 or contact Lieutenant Litchfield (843-726-7509) or Investigator McIntosh (843-717-1035) at the Ridgeland Police Department. Both suspects are considered armed and dangerous.

PEDESTRIAN STRUCK BY VEHICLE

DECEMBER 9, 2011

     A pedestrian struck by a vehicle is in critical condition at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah.  Douglas McAuthor Grim, 41, of 1063 39th Street in Parkersburg, WV was walking in the roadway while wearing dark clothing on Nuna Rock Road around 6:10 pm Thursday evening when he was struck by a 2004 Toyota pickup being driven by Jeremy Robert Tuten, 17, of Log Hall Road in Ridgeland.  Tuten stated he never saw Douglas Grim until after he had already struck him.  He then turned around and returned at which time he saw Grim lying in the ditch and immediately called 911.  Jasper County Fire and Rescue attended to Grim and he was later flown to Savannah.  Officer Tim East of the Ridgeland Police Department is still investigating the collision.  Officer East has made contact with the victims family in West Virginia.  At this time no charges have been filed against the driver of the pickup.

Update

     Douglas McAuthor Grim, 41, of 1063 39th Steet Parkersburg, WV, died Saturday December 10, 2011 at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, GA.  Mr Grim died as a result of his injuries, after he was struck by a pickup while he was walking on Nuna Rock Road in Ridgeland on Thursday evening.

RIDGELAND MAN FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER

DECEMBER 7, 2011

     Antonio D. Scott was convicted today of the murder of Cynthia Nelson.  On March 20, 2011, Antonio D. Scott stabbed Cynthia Nelson in the neck during a domestic dispute at the Baytree Apartment complex at 107 First Avenue.  Ms. Nelson was transported by LifeStar to Memorial Medical Center in Savannah where she later died from her injuries.  Antonio Scott was arrested on March 21st  and charged with her murder.  On Tuesday December 7, following a two day trial, a Jasper County Jury found Antonio D. Scott guilty of murder and a Circuit Court Judge sentenced him to 30 years in prison.

ANTONIO SCOTT

ONE DEAD AFTER TRACTOR TRAILER CRASHES ON I-95

NOVEMBER 29, 2011

     One person is dead from injuries after the 18 wheeler he was driving ran off I-95 at the 21 ½ mile marker north bound.  The vehicle, a 2011 Volvo Truck owned by Sunstate Carriers Inc., in Tavares FL,  was loaded with orange juice headed to Canada.  Around 10:15 Tuesday morning, the vehicle ran off the road and traveled about 200 feet before striking several trees causing the trailer to overturn and spill several hundred cases of orange juice.  Officer Tim East of the Ridgeland Police Department is investigating the collision and is awaiting the results of an Autopsy to determine the cause of the collision.  The identity of the driver is pending confirmation by medical/dental records and notification of next of kin.

PIZZA HUT RESTAURANT ROBBED

AUGUST 19, 2011

     On August 19th at approximately 10:00 pm an unknown black male entered the Pizza Hut Restaurant on North Jacob Smart Boulevard armed with a handgun.  The suspect forced all employees into the walk in freezer at gunpoint before forcing the Manager on duty to open the front lobby register as well as the business safe striking him in the back of the head several times before returning him to the freezer and fleeing the building with an undisclosed amount of money.

     If you have any information on the identity of the suspect pictured here please call 911 or contact Lieutenant Litchfield (843-726-7509) or Investigator McIntosh (843-717-1035) at the Ridgeland Police Department.  Suspect is considered armed and dangerous.

BURGER KING RESTAURANT ROBBED

AUGUST 6, 2011

     On August 6th at approximately 11:00 pm an unknown black male armed with a handgun and an unknown black female entered the Burger King Restaurant on East Main Street through a side door where they forced one of the night employees to the Manager’s office at gunpoint.  The pair then attempted to enter the Manager’s office where two other employees were performing their nightly closing duties.  A short struggle ensued in the doorway of the Manager’s office after which the two suspects fled from the building.

    If you have any information on the identity of the suspects pictured here please call 911 or contact Lieutenant Litchfield (843-726-7509) or Investigator McIntosh (843-717-1035) at the Ridgeland Police Department. Both suspects are considered armed and dangerous.

MAN CAUGHT BURGLARIZING SAME HOME SECOND TIME

AUGUST 2, 2011

MATHEW LEE TAYLOR

     At 10:42 am on Tuesday August 2nd Ridgeland Police Officers responded to a report of a burglary in progress at 132-B Newlin Drive.  As officers responded to the area the suspect was reported to have fled on foot running towards the Ridgeland Cemetery wearing khaki shorts and a white t-shirt.  Ridgeland Officers, with the assistance of Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, quickly set up a perimeter after seeing the suspect running across Great Swamp Road into a wooded area behind Heron Crossing Apartments.  The suspect, Mathew Lee Taylor, 22, was subsequently captured without further incident on Tillman Road just West of the apartment complex. Taylor entered the residence through a side bedroom window where he was caught by the homeowner in the hallway.  Taylor then assaulted the homeowner before fleeing on foot through the front door.  Taylor was out on bond after being arrested by Ridgeland Police Department in June of this year for burglarizing the same residence and is currently being held at the Jasper County Detention Center.

TWO MEN SHOT IN RIDGELAND

JULY 26, 2011

     Ridgeland Police responded to a call on Adams Street after shots were fired shortly after 10pm Sunday night.   Officer Rett Long arrived at 1742 East Adams Street and secured the scene for Fire and Rescue.  Officer Long found Timothy Cooler, 22, of 5635 Mt. Carmel Road in Estill, lying on the kitchen floor with a gunshot wound to the stomach. Officers were then advised of another gunshot victim at the Waffle House on Main street.  Officer Kevin Smith arrived and found David Leslie Williams III, 24, of 5514 Cotton Hill Road in Tillman, with a gunshot wound to the chest.  Witnesses in the Waffle House stated that Williams walked from the area of East Adams Street behind the Chinese Restaurant, crossed Main Street and into the Waffle House where he fell onto the front door.  Officers processed the scene at the Adams Street residence where both victims were shot and found shell casings and evidence of illegal drug activity.   Both gunshot victims were flown to Savannah Memorial where they are being treated for their injuries; they are currently listed in stable condition.  Charges and arrests are pending further investigation.

ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECT ARRESTED

MAY 20, 2011

JOE CHANEY

     An Armed Robbery suspect was arrested following a foot chase at a Safety Checkpoint at the intersection of Henry Lawton Road and Firefly Drive Friday night.  Officers noticed a vehicle approaching which suddenly stopped, and a passenger fled into the woods.  Officer Rett Long, with his K-9 “Dorian,” tracked the suspect through the woods to Captain Bill Road.   With the assistance of several officers, the subject was captured a short time later.  Joe Chaney, 19, of 15732 Bees Creek Road, was charged with resisting arrest and simple possession of marijuana.  After a records check, central dispatch advised officers that Chaney was also wanted by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office for armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.  Chaney was transported to the Jasper County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

LOCAL WOMAN MURDERED

MARCH 21, 2011

ANTONIO SCOTT

    On March 20th, 2011 at 107 First Avenue, (Baytree Apartments), Cynthia Nelson, 48, was stabbed in the neck following a domestic dispute.  Ms. Nelson was transported via helicopter to Savannah Memorial Medical Center in Savannah Georgia where she remains in grave condition on life support.

        Ridgeland Police have arrested Antonio D. Scott for the attempted murder of Cynthia Nelson.  Scott and the victim’s daughter, Akira J. Nelson, have a child together.

UPDATE

    Cynthia Nelson succumbed to her injuries at 10:05 pm on March 21, 2011 at Savannah Memorial Medical Center.

    Antonio Scott’s charges were upgraded to murder on March 22, 2011.  He will be held in the Jasper County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

THREE ARRESTED IN STOLEN VEHICLE

MARCH 12 , 2011

     ANDRE JOHNSON

     Andre Johnson, 23, of 614 Vinson Ave Savannah, GA, was driving a Silver Mazda 6 when he approached a driver’s license safety checkpoint at Bees Creek road and Exit 18 off I-95.  Officer Delanty Langenfeld approached the vehicle and smelled an odor marijuana coming from the driver”s open window.  Officer Langenfeld told the driver to pull off the road.  Officers ordered two other occupants from the vehicle and discovered both were in possession of Marijuana.  Charles Rivera Jr, 21 and Gregory Jason Jr, 23, both from Savannah, were arrested for possession of marijuana.  After further investigation, the tag on the vehicle was registered to another vehicle. Officers then ran a check on the vehicle identification number and discovered the Mazda was reported stolen out of Savannah.  All three suspects were then transported to the Jasper County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

HARDEEVILLE MAN FACES DRUG CHARGES AFTER VEHICLE PURSUIT

MARCH 12, 2011

    JAMAL ROBERTS

     A Hardeeville man faces drug charges after a vehicle chase.  Jamal Akeem Roberts, 18 of 469 Old Charleston Highway in Hardeeville was arrested shortly after a vehicle pursuit in Ridgeland on March 12th.  Roberts approached a Ridgeland Police Department checkpoint on Henry Lawton Road in a white GMC pick-up truck and made an illegal U-Turn in the roadway and attempted to evade police.  Officer Delanty Langenfeld, observed the driver throwing three items from the vehicle before coming to a stop behind a residence off Henry Lawton Road.  The items thrown from the vehicle, three plastic bags containing prescription pills, were recovered by officers.  Roberts was arrested and charged with failure to stop for blue lights and siren, driving under suspension, and possession with intent to distribute narcotics.  Roberts was transported to the Jasper County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

SAVANNAH WOMAN ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF ECSTASY

MARCH 12, 2011

   LATOYA OLIVER

     A Savannah woman was arrested for possession of Ecstasy on March 12th.  Officers with the Ridgeland Police Department conducted a Driver’s License Safety Checkpoint at Bees Creek Road at Exit 18 off Interstate 95.  Latoya Nicole Oliver, 31, of Whitaker Street in Savannah, was the passenger in a vehicle stopped by officers after smelling an odor of Marijuana coming from the vehicle.  Officers searched the vehicle and discovered a white jewelry box by Oliver’s purse that contained several pills.  Oliver took ownership of the pills and told officers they were “Ecstasy”.   Oliver was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and transported to the Jasper County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECT CAPTURED AFTER PURSUIT IN STOLEN VEHICLE

MARCH 9, 2011

     JASON ROSELL

     An Armed Robbery suspect in a stolen vehicle is arrested after a vehicle pursuit in Ridgeland on March 9.  Jason Paul Rosell, 31 of 410 Torrey Drive Ladson, SC was arrested after leading Ridgeland Police on a high speed pursuit off I-95. Officer Jermaine Johnson initially stopped a Green 1997 Saturn at Exit 22 on Interstate 95 North for speeding.  As Officer Johnson approached the vehicle, the driver put the vehicle in reverse and attempted to back over the officer.  The driver then sped off and entered the Ridgeland State Prison, turned around and attempted to hit Officer Johnson’s patrol vehicle.  Officer Johnson ran the tag through central dispatch and the information relayed showed the vehicle was stolen from Berkley County and the driver was also wanted for Armed Robbery and was considered armed and dangerous.  Rosell then led officers from the Ridgeland Police Department on a high speed pursuit through downtown Ridgeland on Jacob Smart Boulevard.  Ultimately the driver stopped on Highway 17 around Crowfield Road near Switzerland citing an overwhelming show of force by Ridgeland Police Officers as his reason for surrender.  Both the driver and passenger, Dwight Durrell Milner, 30 of 2505 Calvert St Detroit, MI, were arrested without further incident and transported to the Jasper County Detention Center where they are currently awaiting a bond hearing.  Rosell was charged with speeding, driving under suspension, simple possession of marijuana, open container violation and faiurel to stop for blue light and siren.  He is also being held on charges from Berkley County for Armed Robbery of a Kangaroo Gas station on College Park Road in Ladson and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle from a Pilot Station on Highway 17A and Interstate 26 in Summerville.  Milner, was arrested for Open Container Violation and Cursing or Abusing Police and is also wanted in the State of Virginia.

VEHICLE PURSUIT

FEBRUARY 6, 2011

     A Mitchellville man with an outstanding warrant was arrested after a vehicle pursuit Sunday around 6:15pm.  Investigator Chris McIntosh was patrolling in the area of the North Ridge neighborhood and received information that a Red 2001 Ford Explorer operated by Shawn Battiste was driving at a high rate of speed on Mitchellville Road. Officer McIntosh verified through Central Dispatch that the driver had an outstanding warrant with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.  A few minutes later Shawn Battiste, 20 of 1102 Mitchellville Road, was observed running a stop sign at Mitchellville Road and Smith’s Crossing Road.  Battiste then lead police on a chase to Ellis Hodges Road and then onto Stellar’s Jay Road and finally stopped in the area of the Chickadee intersection.  Battiste was arrested without further incident for the outstanding warrant and failing to stop for a blue light and siren.  Battiste was transported to the Jasper County Detention Center where he was also charged with Driving under Suspension second offense, Simple Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Cocaine.

FATAL COLLISION

JANUARY 21, 2011

     One person is dead as a result of a head on collision around 7:40 Friday morning on Old House Road.  Karleigh Ann Cook, 27 of North Charleston was pronounced dead on the scene of a collision near Honey Hill Plantation.  Cook was traveling west on Old House Road in a 2010 Ford Focus when she crossed the center line into the path of opposing traffic.  Richard Jeffery Corlett, 26, of Ridgeland was driving a 2003 Ford Explorer when he and witnesses saw a vehicle cross the center line headed straight for him.  Corlett said his reaction was to hit the brakes, swerve to the left and try to avoid the collision.  That is when the Ford Focus came back across the road and they collided head on.  Emergency personnel from Jasper County Fire/Rescue worked for nearly 20 minutes to free Cook from the wreckage.  Airbags in the Ford Focus deployed, however Cook was not wearing a seat belt.  It is unknown at this time why the vehicle crossed the center.  Tim East of the Ridgeland Police Department is investigating the collision and is awaiting the results of an Autopsy and Toxicology report.   Corlett and his 7 year old stepson both wearing safety belts, were taken to Savannah Memorial Hospital where they were treated for injuries.

THREE ARRESTED IN BURGLARY

JANUARY 20, 2011

     Three suspects have been arrested following a residential break-in.  Bradford Sandifer of 242 Hagin Drive in Ridgeland and two Juvenile co-defendants have been charged with Burglary first degree.  On January 13th, two Juveniles entered a dwelling on Eleanor Avenue through a bedroom window, a safe and a jar of coins were dragged out of the residence and placed in Sandifer’s Van.  After an investigation by the Ridgeland Police Department, it was determined that the safe was taken to the Sandifer residence on Hagin Drive the night of the break-in and placed in the wooded area behind the house.  The next day, the suspects loaded the safe back into the van and drove to a residence at the Yacht Cove community on Hilton Head Island.  The safe was broken into but nothing of value was found at which point it was thrown into a nearby lagoon.  Bradford Sandifer was also charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  Sandifer was arrested on January 19 and was awaiting a bond hearing by a Circuit Court Judge.  The two juveniles were transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.

VIETNAM WAR HERO PRESENTS AWARD IN RIDGELAND

JANUARY 15, 2011

     Vietnam Hero Lt Patrick Cleburne “Clebe” McClary, USMC 1st Recon Platoon, presented Officer Kevin Smith, 28, with the Ridgeland Police Department, Officer of the Year Award for 2010. The award was presented at Jasper’s Porch on January 15th during the 14th Judicial Circuit, Law Enforcement Network Awards Banquet.  Officer Smith joined the Ridgeland PoliceDepartment in 2005 as a Reserve officer, in 2008 he attended the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and became a full time paid officer.  Officer Smith is an active member of the Department Patrol Division. He has excelled in his job performance and is very thorough in all of his investigations.  It takes a special person to commit his or her life to a career that is challenging and sometimes thankless. The job can go from routine to dangerous in a split second  It takes a unique blend of duty and courage to wear a police officer’s badge.  Officer Smith is married to Sara Smith, formerly of New Mexico and they have 3 children, Isaac, Daniel and Paige.

     The guest speaker for the event was Lt Clebe McClary. Clebe was critically wounded on March 3, 1968 during his 19th reconnaissance mission in Vietnam. As a result of his bravery under fire and the concern he demonstrated for his men, Lt McClary was presented the Silver Star and the Bronze Star by the President of the United States.  Although Lt McClary suffered numerous injuries including the loss of his left eye and left arm and was told he would never walk again, he never lost the determination, dedication and courage to overcome his circumstances.  Lt McClary spent over two years in military hospitals, undergoing over 30 major surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy.  Since then Clebe has used his powerful story of courage, determination and strength to motivate audiences the world over.  Lt McClary speaks at over 200 engagements a year with well over 7,500 to date.  He has addressed audiences in all 50 States and 30 Foreign Countries.  His Military Honors include Three Purple Hearts, the Silver Star and the Bronze Star.  Some other awards include the George Washington Medal of Freedom, the General Omar Bradley Spirit of Independence Award, in honor of all Vietnam Veterans, and the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor a civilian can receive from the State of South Carolina, bestowed by Governor David Beasley.  Attending the event was Gary Hodges, Mayor of the Town of Ridgeland, Town Council Members, Jasper County Sheriff Gregory B. Jenkins and Deanna McClary, wife of Lt Clebe McClary.   There were a number of officers and their family members from Allendale, Colleton, Hampton, Beaufort and Jasper Counties.

To read more about Clebe McClary’s emotional story of heroism and valor or to book him for a speaking engagement please visit his website at

http://clebemcclary.com/

The last two awards for the evening were presented by Eddie Gibson and Anthony Buchanan, the Coordinators for the 14th Judicial Circuit, Law Enforcement Network.  The Walterboro City Police Department was presented the award for most improved agency.

 Trooper Mark Meadows, 43 of Hampton, SC was awarded the 14th Judicial Circuit, Law Enforcement Network, Officer of the Year.  Trooper Meadows works for the South Carolina Highway Patrol and is assigned to the Safety improvement Team.

RIDGELAND HIGH SCHOOL QUARANTINE

JANUARY 10, 2011

     Dozens of people were being screened Friday night by emergency responders after a substance from a ventilation unit sickened several players and spectators at  a high school basketball game.

     At least three people were taken to the hospital after a strange odor spewed from the heating and air conditioning unit at Ridgeland High School although no serious injuries were reported,

     Between 200 and 300 people were at the game when the unit sickened a basketball player and then others with symptoms ranging from nausea and vomiting to skin irritation.

     The players and fans were moved from the gym to another part of the school as small groups were escorted through a decontamination process which involves answering questions from emergency responders. Those with symptoms associated with contamination went through a more rigorous process.  Irritation subsided for the several people who initially had it after they left the gymnasium.

     The 43rd Civil Support Team (C.S.T.), a branch of the Military, were called to the scene which conducted several tests in the building in an effort to determine the cause of the unusual symptoms. After several hours, the C.S.T. determined that there were no hazards found in the building and there were no harmful agents.

     The cause of the illness has not yet been determined and the incident is still under investigation.  Classes resumed on normal schedule Monday morning.

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