Runaway search leads to arrests | News | The Press and Standard

by | January 25, 2017 12:14 pm

Two Yemassee men were taken into custody on Jan. 21, charged with attempting to block police from locating a Hampton County runaway.

Colleton County Sheriff’s Office deputies were sent to Jonesville Road in Yemassee the morning of Jan. 21 after a man reported spotting a young girl who had run away from her Hampton County home.

After arriving in the area, another resident told the deputies that three young females had been seen going into the residence at 446 Jonesville Ave.

At the home, deputies found the resident, Dequiz L. Washington, 30, and Herman T. Gamble Jr., 18, of 268 Charlie Smith Lane in Yemassee.

Washington reportedly told deputies that earlier in the morning, three female juveniles had come to his house but he did not allow them inside. He volunteered to have the deputies search the residence.

Gamble told the deputies that he had just arrived at the home and had no information. A little later, according to the incident report, Gamble reportedly said he knew one of the juveniles through contact on Facebook, but had not seen the girl.

While visiting the home, one of the deputies saw a piece of luggage with the name Dee Dee on it. Washington said the luggage belonged to his sister.

The deputies left the residence and went back to patrolling the area to search for the juveniles. While searching, dispatch center received several calls about seeing the juvenile girls in a field near Washington residence. Residents approached by the deputies said they had seen the girls.

About an hour after being called to the area, Washington called the deputies, stating that the juveniles were still in the area and agreed to meet with the deputies.

Another resident called the dispatch center to report that he had seen one of the juveniles walking on Jonesville Avenue. A deputy asked the caller to request that the girl to meet the deputies at a church in the 500 block of Jonesville Avenue. The caller told the dispatch center that one of the girls was injured and needed help. She had sustained a laceration to her knee while going over a fence to elude the searchers.

The injured girl and her two companions were turned over to paramedics from Colleton County Fire-Rescue, who treated the injured girl and transported all of them to the Colleton Medical Center. Another deputy was sent to the medical center to take statements from the girls.

Officials of the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office were alerted that the missing girls had been located and were at the medical center.

A family member arrived at the hospital to collect his relative, while the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office sent a deputy to transport the other two girls, who were already on South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice probation.

Meanwhile, the deputies returned to Washington’s home.

Washington was taken into custody on a charge of providing false information to law enforcement.

As officers were in the process of taking Gamble into custody on three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, he allegedly attempted to toss a handgun that was hidden in his waistband. That added a charge of unlawful carrying of a pistol.

Gamble allegedly admitted to agreeing to meeting with the girl he befriended on Facebook and that he and Washington had been hiding the girls from discovery for two days. He also alleged that he had not engaged in sexual relations with any of the girls.

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