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Batesburg-Leesville officer breaks off pursuit after fleeing car leads police cruiser out of town

Batesburg-Leesville, SC (Paul Kirby) – A Batesburg-Leesville police officer broke off a pursuit after the fleeing driver left the town's limits and continued far out into the county without stopping. This began on Mitchell Street near the Wendy’s restaurant. An officer was on patrol Wednesday night when he attempted to stop the vehicle for having no headlights on while driving after dark. When the officer turned around on the car and activated the warning devices on the cruiser, the driver failed to stop and sped away, initiating the pursuit. According to Batesburg-Leesville Police Chief Wallace Oswald, the officer broke off the chase because of safety concerns for the public, the officer, and the fleeing suspect.

All police departments in Lexington County have a pursuit policy that factors in all aspects of safety when deciding whether a pursuit continues. Most also take into consideration what the driver was originally being stopped for. Once a pursuit is deemed so unsafe that continuing it is prohibitive, the officer breaks off the chase and returns to patrol. Often, the suspects eventually slip up or get overconfident and return to the general area where they were chased. This eventually leads to their capture on charges stemming from failing to stop or some other violation.

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