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Cup ‘went well’ from security standpoint

Sheriff’s office reports DUIs, open container charges

Posted: April 1, 2014 3:29 p.m.
Updated: April 2, 2014 5:00 a.m.

The Camden Police Department (CPD) made several arrests and issued citations, but Chief Joe Floyd said the incidents comprised a relatively low number of the size of the crowd at Saturday’s Carolina Cup.

“It went well. We had 283 charges, 39 were actually incarcerated and the remainder were given summonses, mainly for underage drinking,” Floyd said. “We also had seven drug charges for cocaine and possession of a controlled substance.”

The CPD provided security at Springdale Racecourse for the annual steeplechase event, assisted by 15 other law enforcement agencies. Floyd said those agencies assisted through mutual aid agreements with his department. He said most of those officers are trained members of their respective department’s Alcohol Enforcement Teams (AET). Floyd noted that not all of the offenders were underage.

“You had people over 21 who were consuming alcohol, so bad conduct resulted in public disorderly conduct charges. You can have those regardless of the age,” he said.

Floyd said the Cup had a larger turnout than in recent years, so security was stepped up with the aid of plain-clothes officers from the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and other police agencies.

“We had a larger crowd, (so) our number was up. We had more plain-clothes officers with 40. More manpower means more arrests. We had a total of 157 officers on the grounds,” Floyd said. “We really appreciate the support the hospital gives. They are an integral part of this event. The fire department and EMS are all there to make sure everyone has a fun, but safe time.”

Away from the event itself, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said county deputies made several arrests of people coming from Springdale Raceway. He said his office assigned four traffic deputies and two DUI officers to streets and roads near the event.

Matthews reported six DUI charges, 57 open container charges, 17 minors in possession of alcohol, four fake IDs, three seatbelt violations, 26 citations for speeding at least 10 mph above the posted limits, three arrests for driving under suspension, three cases of possession of drug paraphernalia and one public disorderly conduct. Matthews reported 15 of the open container citations were issued before the event even started.

Matthews said two traffic stops were particularly serious. One involved a 19-year-old man who was unconscious and unresponsive. EMS was called to the scene and could not revive him, so he was taken to an emergency room and reportedly was in stable condition.

Another incident involved a 19-year-old female driver who Matthews said was “driving all over the road.” Arrested for DUI, she vomited so violently during her arrest she was throwing up blood, Matthews said. She was also taken to the hospital.

Matthews, an outspoken DUI opponent, called the act the “height of immaturity and irresponsibility,” and said DUI arrests tie up his manpower while the suspect is processed.

“Every DUI case takes an officer off road for two or even three hours. The number of drunk drivers was staggering,” he said of Saturday’s event. “Driving drunk is a total disregard for other people driving on the roads that are having to dodge these drivers.”

Matthews said the Carolina Cup is an asset for Camden and Kershaw County, but not if it ends with a tragedy.

“The Carolina Cup is a great event for our community,” he said. “But, it is our responsibility to make the roads safer.”

(Localife Editor Haley Atkinson contributed to this report.)

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