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Gaston PD has two separate pursuits during afternoon & night shift Friday

Gaston, SC (Paul Kirby) Gaston police officers had a busy afternoon and night shift Friday when they were led on two separate high-speed pursuits. The first chase involved a man with short pants, no shirt, and no helmet, riding a motorcycle and was terminated after speeds reached such that the officers felt the rider might kill himself or someone else if they continued the chase. The second, later in the night, ended in southern Richland County when the SUV they were chasing crashed and the driver and front-seat passenger escaped, and the two back-seat passengers were detained.

In the first instance, the officer received a call from a Calhoun County Sheriff’s deputy notifying them that he had observed a blue sport motorcycle travelling north on Southbound Rd. (Hwy 321 south) toward Gaston at speeds in excess of 100 mph. Major Stephen Watkins and Captain Brandon Poole moved into a position to intercept the bike and observed it entering Gaston at 89 mph in a 40 mph zone. The two cruisers got in behind the bike attempting to make a traffic stop and the driver initiated the pursuit by accelerating to a high rate of speed. At the Food Lion, the bike turned left onto Woodtrail Drive and continue at speeds over 130 mph. The Gaston officers realized that if the bike’s rider continued as he was driving, he would kill himself or someone else. At that point, they decided to terminate the pursuit.

The rider was observed crossing Boy Scout Rd. at Woodtrail and the Gaston officer continued down those roads and even searched some of the many powerlines and trails in the area. They wanted to ensure the rider hadn’t either crashed himself or hit someone that might be seriously injured. Although they didn’t locate the rider, officer have good dashcam photos of him. He is pictured below. If anyone knows who this rider is, they are asked to call the Gaston Police Department’s dispatch number at (803) 785-2521 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME SC.

Much later Friday night, Captain Poole attempted to stop a green Chevrolet Blazer after he ran its plates, and they came back registered to a different vehicle.When he initiated the traffic stop, the vehicle failed to stop and instead initiated the pursuit. The driver of the SUV ran down Hwy. 321 south to Old Wire Rd. where it cut across to 12th St. near Amazon and got onto I-77 north. The suspect vehicle exited onto Shop Rd., turned right onto Atlas Rd. where it blew a tire and the driver lost control. The driver and the front seat occupant bailed out and fled into the area on foot. The two that were in the backseat were detained.

Richland County sheriff’s deputies responded, as did the crew from LIVE PD, and the RCSD units deployed several K-9 teams. Their tracking was unsuccessful. A search of the vehicle turned up more than 10.5 grams of methamphetamines or ICE. Officers say they believe that the drugs were packaged for the purpose of distributing it.

Major Watkins said Saturday that they believe that they have the information necessary to find the suspects who escaped the chase. Once they identify them, the will obtain warrants for their arrest. Major Watkins said he wanted to thank the agencies who assisted them in both these instances. He said that the officers were especially appreciative of the deputies from the RCSD for their help in the Friday night pursuit and drug seizure.

Know who this is? Call Gaston PD at (803) 785-2521.

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Call Paul Kirby

(803) 587-3144