Swansea, SC (Paul Kirby) – Officers with the Swansea Police Department attempted to stop a vehicle for a minor traffic violation Tuesday afternoon. At the time, the officers did not know the occupant had just been involved in a burglary. After witnessing the traffic infraction, Swansea Police Chief Cliff Hayes activated his cruiser’s warning devices in an attempt to pull the vehicle over. Instead of stopping, the driver sped up and fled.
Sergeant Stone of the Swansea PD was able to join in the pursuit as the fleeing driver tried to shake Chief Hayes. Hayes, an experienced pursuit driver and instructor, was able to stay right with the fleeing suspect even when she turned onto a number of dirt roads in an attempt to blind the pursuing officers with dust to make them give up the chase.
Chief Hayes’ knowledge of the area was invaluable during the pursuit. He was able to direct officers to intersecting roads, warn of impending stop signs, dangerous curves, and any other hazard that was up ahead as he focused on his driving. Officers from other departments began attempting to get in front of the fleeing suspect using Hayes' directions so that they could deploy their tire deflation devices. Every time it appeared as if she was heading right toward a trap, the driver would turn onto another road scuttling that plan.
Eventually the pursuit crossed into Calhoun County where one of their K-9 units was racing to join in. Swansea has an aid agreement that allows the Swansea officers jurisdiction in that area of Calhoun County too. The deputy and his K-9 partner tried to get in the pursuit as the driver twisted and turned staying on one road for a short time before she would turn onto another. Eventually, several agencies were involved by the time the pursuit was over.
Chief Hayes’ knowledge of the roads clearly trumped the suspect who eventually sped into a tight curve the chief had already warned officers about. She was going too fast, began to slide, lost control, and ended up in the ditch. Her vehicle struck a street sign and rammed a storm drain culvert under a driveway. This completely disabled the car. The driver put up a brief struggle but was quickly taken into custody by the officers.
Shireen Day, 27, was transported to the Lexington County Detention Center where she was booked for failure to use her turn signal, failure to stop for blue lights, resisting arrest, failing to obey the commands of a police officer, DUS 5th as a habitual offender, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She will have to face a judge to have her bond set.
Chief Cliff Hayes has said over and over that the Swansea Police Department will not tolerate crime in their small town. His officers are out waiting and watching. They have a great relationship with surrounding departments and together, as a team, they will continue to enforce the law.