Five arrested after chase ends in crash
by The Press and Standard | October 31, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: October 30, 2019 at 11:40 am
Five suspects, allegedly traveling I-95 passing counterfeit bills, were taken into custody after their bid for freedom ended in a multi-vehicle crash at Snider’s Crossroads the afternoon of Oct. 25.
The incident began at Walmart when a property loss agent contacted the Walterboro Police Department to report a group of subjects using counterfeit money to make a variety of purchases.
The agent reported the suspects were in a 2019 Dodge Caravan, preparing to leave the parking lot.
As the first officer on the scene arrived at Walmart, he approached an SUV. The agent, still in contact with law enforcement, said the vehicle contained the subjects.
The police officer attempted to get the driver’s attention to pull him over. However, the driver sped up, traveling through the parking lot at a high rate of speed with the city officer following.
The fleeing driver exited the parking lot and turned west on Bells Highway. According to the incident report, the chase reached speeds of 130 miles per hour with the fleeing driver going left of center several times, endangering on-coming traffic.
As the chase neared Jones Swamp Road, the pursuing officer reportedly watched as the front-seat passenger threw a large amount of counterfeit money out the window.
As the chase continued, additional city police and members of the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office joined in.
When the driver reached the intersection of Bells Highway and Lowcountry Highway, he turned left onto Lowcountry Highway headed toward Snider’s Crossroads.
At the crossroads, the fleeing driver reportedly ignored the four-way stop and entered the intersection, striking a trailer being towed by a Hummer H3 and then a Comcast company van.
The traffic accident resulted into injuries to four of the five suspects in the SUV and three occupants of the other vehicles.
Colleton County Fire-Rescue ambulances transported four of the occupants of the fleeing vehicle to Colleton Medical Center with minor injuries. The fifth occupant refused treatment and was taken to the Colleton County Detention Center.
The Comcast work van was struck in the side, spun backward and struck a power pole. The van suffered heavy damage in the collision. The driver was treated at the scene by firefighter-paramedics, and then transported by ambulance to Colleton Medical Center.
The Hummer received minor damage, but the trailer it was pulling was destroyed — its load of large cut logs littered the intersection.
Two small children in the Hummer were transported to Colleton Medical Center for evaluation. Two adults in the same car did not require medical attention.
The busy intersection was blocked for over an hour until the vehicles and debris could be removed.
Law enforcement officers detoured traffic, and the South Carolina Highway Patrol investigated the accident.
The suspects reportedly used $760 in counterfeit $20 bills to purchase two $200 gift cards, headphones, a knee pillow and a calming comforter at Walmart. Police secured the counterfeit money and Walmart’s security system video.
A search of the wallets of the suspects reportedly recovered more counterfeit money, $20 and $50 bills, and numerous gift cards.
Officers searching Bells Highway also recovered an undisclosed amount of counterfeit money.
City police filed forgery charges against Moesha Sharlene Pierce, 23, of Lauderhill, Fla.; Adrian L. Hugley, 18, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Xavier Rodriguez, 23, of Stanton, N.Y.; Keshawn D. Demps, 22, of Pompano Beach, Fla.; and Romeo Dorsainil, 17, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
In the incident report, the officer explained the forgery charges were filed because the suspects allegedly portrayed the counterfeit bills as real money in making their purchases. Dorsainvil reportedly was driving the getaway vehicle and also faces charges of reckless driving, failure to stop for blue lights and no S.C. driver’s license.