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A look back at the (crime) year gone by

Posted: December 23, 2011 9:29 a.m.
Updated: December 26, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Last week, I named Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews as my 2011 Person of the Year. Inevitably, any thoughts of law enforcement bring me thoughts of crime. Sometimes reading crime reports can be the most enjoyable part of the day.

Crime definitely has its serious side -- murder, rape, burglaries -- but, sometimes, alleged criminals do some pretty stupid or funny things.

Even though we’ve got another crime report to go this Wednesday, why don’t we go ahead and take a look back at the crime year gone by.

Ewwww! A 45-year-old Camden man allegedly stood naked in front of his bedroom window holding his privates as a woman arrived next door to visit her mother in early January.

Don’t run home to mamma. In early February, deputies arrested a 26-year-old man for assaulting his mother at her home just outside Camden. She said they got into an argument over his not going to sleep, during which he threw a drawer at her and slapped her. He also allegedly took apart her stereo in order to steal it. He fled the scene and deputies had trouble locating him. They were called back to the home a short time later -- to find him banging on the front door. After resisting and threatening them, deputies took him to jail.

Stop honking! Deputies arrested a 24-year-old man in mid-February after he drove up to a Woodside Drive, Camden, home where another man had just been arrested for marijuana possession and trespassing. The second suspect reportedly drove up as deputies were dealing with the first man and began honking his horn as if to get someone to come outside. Deputies did … and immediately noticed a digital scale on the front seat with a bag of 3 ounces of marijuana. More marijuana was found and deputies seized $1,100 cash.

Dumb confession. Deputies charged a 21-year-old Cassatt man in late February with cocaine trafficking after he admitted to possessing a bunch of drugs following a high speed chase in Elgin’s notorious “Dixonville” community. He claimed he was hurrying home from work at a tire store -- which had closed three hours earlier. Deputies found a little more than 11-gram, one-third disk of cocaine and a pill bottle with cocaine residue in it. He reportedly said “It’s on me. It’s mine, no one else’s.” “Really, 11 grams?” deputies asked him. “I smoke a lot,” he answered and went on to claim deputies -- who seized $176 from him -- were “taking from him and his family.” Look in the mirror, sir.

Get in the back, buddy. A Ladson woman said in mid-March that her husband became so angry that she had not stopped at a restaurant off I-20 near Lugoff that he opened the passenger door and hung his legs out while she was driving on the interstate. She said when she stopped he tried to snatch the keys from her and wouldn’t let her use the GPS. The man agreed to ride in the back seat for the rest of the trip after talking to a deputy.

She must have been mad. In late March, a 46-year-old Camden woman was accused of twice forcing her 52-year-old boyfriend out of her car at gunpoint. The second time, she also threw his crutches at him, hitting him in the face.

You go, girls! In early May, a woman living on Finhorse Lane in Lugoff held a 22-year-old male suspect for deputies to arrest after he allegedly broke into her home and stole $30 in pennies in a plastic container. In late July, a 24-year-old Georgia woman fended off an attacker at the Lugoff I-20 rest stop by spinning around and kicking him in the crotch. She then chased him into the parking lot where he got into a car and drove off.

Cheap dates. Deputies arrested two men in mid-May on solicitation charges involving undercover female agents. One offered the women $30 to have sex with him. The other offered a mere $5 to “talk junk to the girls.”

Cheap car. In early June someone pulled up fence posts, drove a car under the fence at a Camden body shop and caused damage to another car by standing on it to jump over the fence -- all for a Grand Prix with a shattered windshield, a driver’s seat that wasn’t bolted down and half the dashboard missing.

Check your references. A Lugoff man let a woman he only knew through Facebook housesit for him in early September. When he returned from vacation, he discovered she had stolen $500 in food and vandalized the home to the tune of $11,000 in damage.

“I’m in the road?” Camden officers charged a 37-year-old Lugoff woman after they found her sitting in the middle of a West DeKalb Street turn lane near Springdale Drive asleep around 2 a.m. in mid-September. She fell over, woke up and, when asked what she was doing in the roadway, answered “I’m in the road?” She admitted to having drunk “a lot” that night.

Story of the Year: Everything old is new again. Deputies arrested a 72-year-old man in early October after he allegedly ran his 24-year-old wife off the road near Elgin. Deputies found the wife’s car in a ditch and the husband’s black truck in the road. She said he followed her from an Elgin grocery store, went around her and spun in the road, causing her to wreck, and said he was trying to kill her. He said his wife left and didn’t return for some time and that he went out to look for her. He admitted to pulling around in front of her, but denied he was trying to kill her. Records showed, however, that he’d been charged with criminal domestic violence (CDV) in August. This time, deputies charged him with CDV of a high and aggravated nature.

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