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South Congaree Police Department makes an arrest in hit & run with serious bodily injury case

South Congaree, SC - 04/15/2021 (Paul Kirby) – Officers with the South Congaree Police Department, assisted by officers from the Springdale PD, made an arrest Wednesday night in the case of a hit and run that caused a woman to be seriously injured. According to SCPD’s Chief Josh Shumpert, the suspect was tracked down and arrested within an hour of the incident.

Shumpert said that the suspect is being charged with Breach of Trust and Hit and Run with Serious Bodily Injury. He said that although the hit and run happened in the parking lot of the Palm Pantry and The Lexington Ledger in South Congaree, the incident had been building the entire day.

Chief Shumpert said that earlier in the day, a woman who lives in the St. Andrews area loaned her car to an acquaintance with the agreement that he would return it quickly. As the day progressed, the man did not bring her car back. When her husband came home Wednesday evening, he asked his wife where her car was. When she explained what happened, the husband started tracking the car via a GPS system that was installed on the car. The couple quickly located the car parked at the Palm Pantry located at 1251 Main Street in South Congaree. Rather than notify the police, the couple drove to South Congaree to confront the man who had their car.

According to the chief, when the couple arrived in South Congaree, their car was still at the Palm Pantry. The husband tried to block the car in while his wife got out to confront the man she had loaned her car to. When the man spotted her, he cranked the car, maneuvered around the husband’s car, hit the woman knocking her to the ground, and then sped away.

EMS personnel along with firefighter/first responders from Lexington County were quick to arrive on scene along with the police. When they arrived, they found the woman lying in the parking lot bleeding. According to Chief Shumpert, they quickly readied her for transport and then took her to the Trauma Center at Prisma Health’s Richland Hospital. The chief said although her injuries are serious, they are not life-threatening.

After the victim was transported, the South Congaree police officers, assisted by officers from the Town of Springdale, used the same GPS tracking software the couple had used to track the car. They found that it was parked alongside I-26 just off Airport Boulevard at the Master’s Inn. Chief Shumpert said that with assistance from the motel’s staff, they quickly located the suspect in a room and placed him under arrest.

Chief Shumpert said that Joshua Martez Lucas, age 29, has a lengthy criminal record. After his arrest, he was transported to the Lexington County Detention Center where he will face a bond hearing Thursday.

“I am proud of how fast and hard my officers worked to arrest this man," Chief Shumpert said Thursday. "We also appreciate the help from the Springdale officers. Working together, from time of incident to the arrest was about an hour. That should show the public that even though these small towns often have small departments, they have great officers and can get the job done when they are needed.” Shumpert said that if anything like this ever happens to you, call the police. "We are trained to handle these career criminals and we can do so in the safest possible manner," Chief Shumpert concluded.


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