Pine Ridge, SC (Paul Kirby) A pursuit that started in the town of Pine Ridge, ended nearly 20 miles later when the suspect crashed the vehicle he was driving on Longs Pond Road near the Luvs Travel Plaza. Then, he and his passenger ran on foot and were eventually captured after the public tipped law enforcement officer that the fugitives were hiding in a bar. The most interesting part of the story was that the police had broken off the pursuit and stopped chasing the men some distance back.
Chief Nicholas Scott of the Pine Ridge Police Department said that one of his officers was running stationary radar on Myrtle Drive in the town when he clocked a car coming toward him at a high-rate of speed. Once the officer ran the tag on the car, it came back to another car which could have indicate that the vehicle was also stolen. The officers attempted to stop the van, but the driver refused to stop and instead initiated a pursuit.
Eventually the two men in a light green mini-van led the Pine Ridge officer all the way into Pelion where officers there began to assist. The chase turned right onto Main Street in Pelion (US Hwy 178), then proceeded toward Leesville and eventually up to the Fairview Crossroads. At this point, the chase continued up Neely Wingard Road and the men turned onto Pond Branch Road and got on I-20 east toward Columbia. At some point near here, Chief Scott instructed the lead cruiser to break the pursuit off because the driver of the van appeared so desperate to escape that the chief was afraid the vehicle and its driver would hurt the public in some way. The Pine Ridge officer broke off the pursuit but continued on I-20 toward Columbia to ensure that the van had not already caused an accident that hadn’t been reported.
Even after the officer broke off the pursuit, the driver of the van continued driving erratically and eventually tried to exit at the 51 mm or Longs Pond Road. At the end of the ramp, the driver of the van collided with another car, turned right on Longs Pond, and then passed the Luvs Travel Center before losing control and crashing through a fence. The two men then got out and ran toward the tire shop at the Luvs and into the woods.
Unaware that this was happening, the Pine Ridge officer came down to South Lake Drive making his way back toward town. He was informed by radio that an off-duty SCDPS officer had witnessed the wreck at Exit 51, saw the men flee that scene and had called in additional law enforcement. The Pine Ridge officer made his way back over to Longs Pond and joined multiple agencies including the SCHP, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, and others who were by this point searching for the two. LCSD even had two of their K-9s deploying. At some point during this whole drama, a citizen called in and said they had seen the two men run into Schooners Bar near Longs Pond and Muddy Springs Roads. Officers went into the bar, located the two, and made the arrest.
The Pine Ridge Police Department arrested the driver of the car, Anthony Ray Oxendine, 45, as well as the passenger, Jacob Wayne Werner. The pair face multiple charges. Oxendine faces charges on failure to stop for a blue light, 2nd offense, DUS 4th, disregarding a stop sign, open container in the vehicle, operating uninsured, and tag violations. The SCHP has confirmed that they are charging Oxendine with reckless driving and leaving the scene of a collision with an occupied vehicle. Other agencies will also be charging Oxendine and Werner with a number of charges including possession of marijuana and Ice.
Pine Ridge’s Chief Scott said that he wanted to thank all the law enforcement agencies who came together to get these two off the streets. He especially wanted to thank the public for their tips that eventually led to the two’s hiding place.