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Batesburg-Leesville police officer arrest wanted sex offender

Batesburg-Leesville, SC (Paul Kirby) - The Batesburg-Leesville Police Department apprehended a registered sex offender wanted by multiple jurisdictions after fleeing from police. Tony Travis Smith Jr, was arrested and charged with Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct, Driving Under the Influence, and other charges.

On May 16th, BLPD responded to Walmart after a female victim reported a strange man “stalking” her through the store. Officers responded but were unable to locate the man. A short time later, the same man was reported to have made sexually explicit and inappropriate comments to a cashier at Hardees causing her to fear for her safety.

BLPD officers located the suspect and attempted a traffic stop. The suspect failed to stop and led officers on a pursuit. During the pursuit, the suspect was unable to maintain control of his vehicle due to being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and was involved in a single vehicle collision. After the collision, the suspect immediately fled on foot from law enforcement. With the assistance of the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, Ridge Spring Police Department, and alert citizens in the area the suspect was promptly apprehended.

After his arrest, it was discovered that the suspect is a registered sex offender and was wanted by multiple agencies including SC Probation, Pardon and Parole.

The suspect has been charged with Assault with Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct; Driving Under the Influence, 4th Offense; Driving Under Suspension for DUI, 2nd Offense; Failure to Stop for Blue Lights; and Habitual Offender, 3rd Offense. Mr. Smith has appeared before Judge Robert Cook and was denied bond.

Chief W. Wallace Oswald says that he is, “proud of his officers for taking a such a dangerous individual off the streets and out of our community.”

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