Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) - Officers with the Chapin Police Department teamed up with South Carolina state troopers and Newberry County deputies recently to stop a fleeing parolee with a history of criminal behavior. The suspect was attempting to evade Newberry County law enforcement officers and tried to injure or kill deputies and other motorists in the process.
According to officials, a Newberry County sheriff's deputy was patrolling close to I-26 in that county at approximately 3:30 a.m. when he noticed a suspicious person in a pickup truck at the Love Travel Plaza. After running the tag on the truck, it came back registered to a vehicle that was a different make and model from the one the license was displayed on. When the driver of the truck turned out of the Love’s parking lot, the Newberry County deputy attempted a traffic stop. Instead of pulling over, the driver fled, initiating a pursuit.
Several times during the pursuit the suspect swerved his vehicle toward deputies’ cruisers. He also slammed on his brakes several times causing the deputies to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision. After a long high-speed chase, the driver of the pickup truck got back onto I-26 traveling east in the westbound lanes.
Because of the inherent danger of this, the Newberry County Sheriff's Department supervisor told deputies to discontinue the pursuit. His hopes were that the fleeing driver would stop running and flip around so that he would be travelling in the correct direction on I-26. Deputies from Newberry County who were already on the interstate in the eastbound lanes sped ahead toward Columbia in hopes that they could get unsuspecting motorists to pull over prior to being met by the wrong way driver.
The SCHP’s dispatch and personnel with the Chapin Police Department were notified of the situation and law enforcement officers from both agencies responded to I-26. Those officers positioned themselves in Lexington County near Exit 91 where the construction zone begins. At the appropriate time, these officers blocked the road forcing the fleeing driver to come to a stop. He exited the truck and tried to escape on foot but was apprehended.
The driver has since been identified as Carl Michael Burris, 43, of Andrews, N.C. Officers believe that Burris was wanted in North Carolina for parole violations. Burris has been charged with failure to stop for a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest using a deadly weapon, and numerous traffic violations. The enhanced resisting charge is because of Burris using his vehicle to try to wreck the Newberry County deputies during the pursuit.
Sheriff Lee Foster publicly later praised the deputies for being alert to suspicious activity in the community. “All this guy had to do was to stop. I can almost guarantee you with how criminals are being treated he would not have been in jail long. However, he made a conscious decision to put people’s lives in danger with reckless abandon. In addition to failing to stop and putting the public in danger, he made a conscious effort to wreck and injure deputies. This is not ok. There is no place for this nonsense.”
Burris was booked into the Newberry County Detention Center where he faced a judge for a bond hearing.