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Camden man arrested after car chase

Posted: February 15, 2011 3:51 p.m.
Updated: February 16, 2011 5:00 a.m.

A 21-year-old Camden man was arrested Thursday afternoon following a high speed, six-mile chase that started in Camden and ended in nearby Lugoff. Raheem Kawon Fuller, of Arnette Drive, Camden, was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, failure to stop for blue lights (second offense), resisting arrest, driving under suspension and simple possession of marijuana, according to a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) report.

The chase started when Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews and Chief Deputy Marvin Brown, who was driving, pulled in behind a silver Honda Accord being driven erratically on Church Street in downtown Camden.

“I said to Marvin, ‘Look at that fool. What’s wrong with him?’” said Matthews.

Seconds later, Kershaw County Central Dispatch put out an alert for a stolen car -- a silver Honda Accord.

“I said, ‘That’s the car,’ and we began following it,” Matthew said.

Brown didn’t use blue lights or sirens at first and followed the Accord south to Gates Street, where Fuller stopped in front of a house.

“Marvin pulled up next to him, got out of the car and approached him at gunpoint while I got out, gun in hand, and approached from the back,” said Matthews.

Brown said he calmly told Fuller to put his hands on the wheel so they could talk to him.

But Fuller didn’t stay put and took off, turning south on Broad Street, then Bull Street back to Church Street reaching York Street where, said Matthews, it appeared Fuller was heading to Camden High School. Instead, Fuller turned up Gordon Street and then turned on DeKalb Street, and immediately turned up Wylie Street.

Matthews said by the time he and Brown got to the intersection of Wylie and Mattison streets, the silver Accord was out of sight. They asked three men standing near a muffler shop if they’d seen the car; Matthews said the men pointed down Mattison and Brown and Matthews followed to Goodale Avenue and DeKalb Street.

“The sheriff was looking one way and I was looking the other way and saw him pull back out onto DeKalb Street,” said Brown.

At that point, at least three other KCSO units -- including KCSO Lt. Rob Artlip -- and several Camden Police Department (CPD) officers joined in the chase while Brown and Matthews backed off. CPD Chief Joe Floyd said his officers did the same as Fuller and deputies began to reach the busy intersection of West DeKalb Street and Springdale Drive.

“He blew through the light,” said Matthews.

Floyd has often reported that intersection as being one of the most dangerous in the city and said it was a miracle no one was hurt.

Artlip reported Fuller “passed traffic in the painted median just before the Wateree River bridge.”

Fuller, having entered Lugoff, soon turned on to Longtown Road. Artlip reported Fuller was still passing traffic on a double yellow line. Meanwhile, Matthews said he and Brown went on to KCSO headquarters on S.C. 34 in order to pick up an “800” radio that would allow them to communicate with any other law enforcement agency, including the S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

About the same time, Fuller had turned on to Grey Fox Road and then down the driveway of a large residential property set back far off the road.

“(He) traveled down the driveway, striking the limbs of a magnolia tree in the front yard as he passed the house,” Artlip reported. “The driver exited the vehicle and fled on foot into the wood line. I parked my patrol vehicle right behind him and twice commanded him to stop, that he was under arrest.”

As Artlip pursued Fuller through the woods, SLED had been contacted for air support; deputies patrolled Frenwood and Pebble lanes off Longtown Road.

But it was over quickly.

As Brown and Matthews reached headquarters to get the radio, Artlip called out that he had Fuller in custody. In his report, Artlip said he had commanded Fuller to stop four times during the foot chase. Fuller ignored those commands, but Artlip was able to catch him along side Twenty-Five Mile Creek. Fuller was found to be in possession of a small brown paper bag containing a small amount of marijuana.

“I later asked who caught him and (Artlip) said he did. He said he heard the chase on the radio and got in behind. He’s the lieutenant over our SROs (school resource officers) and a former Highway Patrol trooper and drill sergeant from the Army,” said Matthews. “He ran him down like a deer through woods, serious vegetation and a creek.”


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