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High speed chase ends with collision Sunday

Two arrested; suspected driver still sought

Posted: September 7, 2017 4:40 p.m.
Updated: September 8, 2017 1:00 a.m.
Provided by the KCSO/

Kenneth Roger Robinson Jr.

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The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) arrested two teenagers charged them in connection with a high-speed pursuit through Kershaw and Lee counties that ended with a collision in downtown Camden on Sunday afternoon.

The KCSO identified the arrested suspects as Markeem Lamonte Hammond, 17, of Metze Road, Columbia, and Kenneth Roger Robinson Jr., 17, of Martindale Road, also in Columbia. According to online booking records from the Kershaw County Detention Center, Robinson is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle between $2,000 and $10,000 in value and being a minor in possession of alcoholic liquors. Robinson’s bond was set at $15,000, which was paid Tuesday. Hammond faces the same charges, but is still being held on $30,000 bond.

Deputies are still searching for a third suspect, who is thought to be the driver.

According to the KCSO, a traffic officer was patrolling I-20 in an unmarked vehicle around 5:40 p.m. Sunday when he saw a silver Honda Acura with Kentucky plates coming up behind him at a high rate of speed. The deputy determined the Acura was being driven at 95 mph and that it had been stolen out of Columbia. The Acura passed the deputy, who turned on his blue lights and siren only to have the suspect driver accelerate to more than 130 mph as it crossed into Lee County. The deputy reported watching the Acura as it cut in and out of traffic, running several vehicles off the road. Kershaw County dispatchers alerted Lee County authorities about the chase.

Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said Sunday night that the suspects cut in front of an 18-wheeler at Lee County Exit 108. Due to the driver’s “extremely erratic and dangerous driving,” the traffic deputy terminated the pursuit and returned to Kershaw County. The KCSO said in the press release that Lee County deputies located the Acura a short time later and gave chase as it returned toward Kershaw County on I-20. Three Kershaw County deputies deployed spike strips near Exit 101. Matthews said Sunday that the suspects ran around the spike strips. According to the press release, issued Tuesday, the Acura’s driver lost control and ran off the road and into the grass, narrowly avoiding some trees. They then regained control and headed up to S.C. 34. There, they turned left and headed towards Camden.

A pursuing deputy clocked the Acura at 140 mph on S.C. 34 as it headed toward U.S. 1 in Camden. That deputy also terminated pursuit, but was able to see the Acura head toward Camden from a distance. Deputies notified the Camden Police Department (CPD), whose officers prepared to deploy more spike strips, according to the KCSO press release. However, the Acura collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Broad and DeKalb streets. The driver of the struck car did not appear to be injured, but was taken to KershawHealth as a precaution.

“Great restraint by KCSO traffic officers following a very dangerous pursuit, along with excellent cooperation” between law enforcement agencies resulted in these arrests,” Matthews said in Tuesday’s press release. “The driver of this stolen vehicle showed absolutely no regard to the general public during this chase and endangered many lives.”

Camden officers and witnesses in the vicinity of the crash at Broad and DeKalb streets saw three African-American men run from the Acura immediately following the collision. Officers found two of the suspects on Market Street. Officers arrested the first young man after finding him behind a house on the 900 block; they arrested the other one at a residence on the 700 block.

According to the press release, after being given his Miranda warning and being arrested, Robinson provided deputies with the identity of the Acura’s actual driver. Additional information is being sought to confirm that person’s identity and an arrest is pending.

Following a search of the Acura, deputies discovered numerous rounds of ammunition as well as several cell phones and bottles of liquor. The KCSO and S.C. Highway Patrol are working with the Columbia Police Department on the investigation.

According to Richland County Clerk of Court online records, Richland County deputies arrested Hammond on May 6 for failing to stop for blue lights and siren and possession of a stolen vehicle for which he was out on at least a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

No previous charges are listed in Richland County for Robinson. Neither has a previous record in Kershaw County.

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