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Suspects taken into custody after brief chase in Gaston around noon Friday

Gaston, SC (Paul Kirby) - Officers with the Gaston Police Department have taken a man into custody after a brief chase ended in a crash Friday around noon. According to Major Stephen Watkins of the Gaston Police Department, the vehicle he pursued matched the description of one that had been involved in a shots fired incident earlier Friday morning.

According to Major Watkins, before beginning his patrol he had checked the computerized record of calls that the Lexington County Sheriff's Department had received overnight Thursday and into Friday morning. He makes this a part of his pre-shift routine in order to be fully aware of what has been happening in Gaston and the surrounding areas when the Gaston Police Department may not have any officers on duty. One of the things that he immediately noticed was a call regarding shots fired on Irvine jumper Road about 5:00 a.m. Friday morning.

According to Watkins, the sheriff's department had responded to a report that a citizen driving in their vehicle had allegedly been shot at around 5:00 a.m. Friday morning. That citizen told Lexington County sheriff's deputies that they had been driving down Irvin Jumper Road before daylight when they drove up on a vehicle whose occupants were checking all the mailboxes on the road. The citizen called the sheriff's department and then began following the vehicle with the suspects inside. When the suspects realized they were being followed, they allegedly fired several rounds at the citizen before fleeing.

Major Watkins said that around 11:30 a.m. he had driven to Irvine Jumper Road to follow up on the earlier incident. He intended to go door to door asking other residents along the road if they had seen or heard anything that morning. Watkins pulled his cruiser into the driveway of a home when a vehicle that matched the description of the one from the earlier incident passed him. He quickly noted that it was also displaying the same license tag number that the citizen had given the deputies when they answered the shots fired call.

Watkins turned his Pursuit Charger out the driveway onto Irvin Jumper Road behind the suspects. As soon as they spotted the patrol car, the driver accelerated in an attempt to flee. Watkins gave chase for a short distance, but the driver of the fleeing vehicle lost control at the intersection of Irvin Jumper Road and Mack Street. The driver and the front seat passenger immediately jumped out of the wrecked vehicle and fled on foot. The two passengers in the back seat were quickly taken into custody.

Officers from the Pelion, Swansea, and Springdale Police Department's converged on the scene to assist Watkins. They were eventually able to locate the driver and take him into custody. Once they placed him under arrest, he told officers he had ingested some methamphetamine. Lexington County EMS was notified, and they transported that suspect to a local medical facility to be evaluated as a precautionary measure. He was then taken to the Lexington County Detention Center where he was booked into jail.

A search of the wrecked vehicle turned up an air rifle. These guns are often specifically made to look like authentic guns but instead shoot BBs. Officers have not determined if that was what was used to fire the shots earlier in the day.

Watkins has identified the driver as William Cadden. At this point, he has been charged with driving under suspension, failure to stop for blue lights, and possession of a stolen vehicle. Major Watkins said that the investigation into the earlier incident is ongoing. Additional charges could be pending.


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