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Camden Crime Report - June 7, 2019
Man and woman arrested in domestic violence case

Camden Police Department (CPD) officers arrested and charged a 35-year-old Lexington man and his 27-year-old live-in girlfriend for domestic violence following an incident around 10:15 a.m. May 27.

According to a CPD report, an officer was waiting at the red light at Broad and DeKalb streets when a white truck stopped in the intersection. A woman rolled down her window and yelled that a fight was taking place in a red truck and pointed east on DeKalb Street. The officer activated their blue lights and pulled onto DeKalb Street and spotted the red truck several cars ahead. As he approached, he could see a struggle going on between a back seat passenger and a front seat passenger.

The truck pulled into First Palmetto’s ATM parking lot and, while the officer was getting out of his vehicle, the woman, sitting in the back seat, turned to face him and began screaming for help. As he got closer, he could see blood flowing down her face and that one of her teeth was half broken. He assisted the woman out of the truck while, at the same time, her boyfriend, who had been sitting in the front passenger seat, got out began walking around the truck. The officer instructed him to stay back and, once he had the woman sitting down, intercepted the man and asked him what happened.

He said that he and a relative had just picked up his girlfriend from the Kershaw County Detention Center and soon got into an argument about her “hiding the fact that she has Hepatitis C from him.” He claimed that during the argument, his girlfriend bit his arm and punched her in the face in order to get her off him. At that point, the officer detained him in handcuffs pending further investigation.

The officer then spoke to the woman, who acknowledged she had just been released from the jail after being picked up earlier on a meth charge by the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (there is no record of this arrest on the clerk of court’s website). She also acknowledged that she did bite her boyfriend’s arm and that’s why he hit her. When asked what started the fight, she would only say that her boyfriend yelled at her about her drug arrest.

EMS arrived on the scene and examined the woman. They reportedly told officers the woman was at that moment under the influence of drugs.

A witness told officers they saw the woman open the door to the truck in an effort to get out, but that the man pulled her hair in an effort to stop her and then punched her.

The reporting officer then went and spoke to the driver of the truck. She said the woman began cursing at her boyfriend as soon as they picked her up from the jail and hitting the back of his chair. He responded, she said, by putting his arm up to keep her from getting into the front seat and that’s when the woman bit him. In response, she confirmed that he hit her to get him off her. The driver then said the woman tried to jump out of the truck while it was moving and that the man was able to shut the door in order to stop her.

At this point, the officer decided to arrest the woman on third-degree domestic violence charges and the man for second-degree domestic violence. While being transported to the jail, the man began “acting crazy” because he, too, was high on meth. He reportedly apologized for striking his girlfriend, but also claimed he was in Camden to “distribute the best meth you have ever seen” and that he gets it from “somewhere north of Augusta.”

The clerk of court’s website only shows a public disorderly conduct charge for the woman and no charges against the man, although the CPD report indicates a warrant was served on the man on May 28 at the jail and that the woman was charged using a uniform traffic ticket for third-degree domestic violence.

The CPD also reported the following recent incidents:

Camden officers arrested and charged a 29-year-old Camden man with second-degree domestic violence after he allegedly sprayed his girlfriend in the face with pepper spray on May 19. Officers responded to the Bank of America on East DeKalb Street around 2:50 p.m. that day to find the couple arguing, and that the woman was crying and screaming that her boyfriend had sprayed her with the pepper spray. The man claimed that they had been in an argument the previous night at their home on Mill Street after a physical confrontation he had with some guests. He said he went back to the residence that day to retrieve some of his belongings and claimed that’s when the argument with his girlfriend started up again. He further claimed that his girlfriend reached for the pepper spray and tried to use it on him, but only got a little out, affecting his nose, lip and the corner of an eye. However, officers reported the man appeared to have no signs of irritation. The woman, meanwhile, told police that her boyfriend was the one who had the pepper spray and that he had sprayed her in the face, including her eyes, nose, lips and ears -- all of which officers described as being red and irritated, and that she was having trouble breathing. Although she declined to go to the hospital, EMS arrived and checked her at the scene. Officers then arrested the man and took him to jail. In a separate report filed May 21, the owner of the couple’s home said he had them evicted and reported that someone -- he believes the man -- forcibly reentered the residence and stole three window air units and an end table. The man is free on a cash surety bond of $2,500 paid by a bonding company. According to court records, the man was also charged with second-degree domestic violence in early March and released at that time on the same bond.

A 35-year-old Eastover man ended up being arrested on four charges all thanks to driving erratically and having a glass smoking pipe in his pickup truck on the evening of May 30. An officer reported being dispatched to the Dusty Bend area due to the pickup being driven all over the road as it came off of Liberty Hill Road (S.C. 97) onto North Broad Street (U.S. 521). The officer located the truck and followed it down Broad Street to DeKalb Street where it turned west toward Springdale Drive. On the Donald H. Holland bridge over the CSX railroad tracks near Chesnut Ferry Road Ext., the officer recorded the truck with his in-car camera go across the fog line twice and then the double yellow lines. The officer then turned on his blue lights only to have the driver continue west. After they went through the light at Bay Lane, the officer turned on his siren, but the driver still did not stop, continuing over the U.S. 1 bridge into Lugoff until finally pulling into the Food Lion parking lot. There, the driver and officer were met by other CPD officers and a county deputy. The driver complied with all instructions and agreed to field sobriety test, which he failed. At the county jail, the man’s blood alcohol level was recorded as .19, more than twice the legal limit. Officers charged him with DUI (second offense), driving under suspension (second offense), possession of drug paraphernalia, and failure to stop for police.

On the morning of May 28, a woman attempted to shoplift a bottle of Gain detergent from the Piggly Wiggly on East DeKalb Street. According to a CPD report, a store manager noticed the woman doing so, confronted her and asked for her to take the bottle out of her pocket book. The woman then allegedly hit the manager on the right side of his face and ran out of the store when he tried to grab her arms to restrain her. She reportedly jumped into a white vehicle. A short time later, a man arrived at CPD headquarters stating he was the man who drove the woman from the scene. He said he had picked her up at the Black River Road Shell Station on U.S. 521 and dropped her off in front of the store. He said he circled around and when he got back out front, she was already running toward his car and jumped in. He went on to say that they as they drove to near the Burger King on DeKalb Street, she jumped out of the car and he proceeded on to the police department.

Officers arrested a 17-year-old girl for unlawful carrying of a weapon following a collision at the intersection of East DeKalb and Mill streets on May 17. Witnesses said the young lady picked up the handgun -- which apparently belonged to another person involved in the collision -- after the collision and walked away from the scene. A Kershaw County deputy managed to detain the girl and found the 9mm handgun in her purse with a round in the chamber. City officers determined she did not have a concealed weapons permit, arrested her and took her to jail. The gun’s owner said he did not wish to press larceny charges against the young lady.

Officers arrested a 21-year-old Camden man and charged him with unlawful carrying of a weapon following a traffic stop for a seatbelt violation late in the afternoon of May 18 at the intersection of West DeKalb and Wylie streets. When asked if there was any contraband in the Chevy Camaro he had been driving, the man admitted that a friend’s gun was in a bag in the back seat. Officers retrieved the bag and discovered a black handgun with 12 round of 9mm ammunition, including on in the chamber.

Officers arrested Carlos Calderon III, of NW 3rd Ave., Miami Gardens, Fla., on marijuana trafficking charges following a traffic stop for speeding at South Broad and Meeting streets. After obtaining and calling in Calderon’s information, Kershaw County deputies arrived on the scene and assisted with an investigation that led to the discovery of approximately 20 pounds of marijuana packaged in a tight black plastic wrap in a cardboard box.

A Kershaw man said he was driving down Boykin Road in the Dusty Bend area late in the afternoon of May 27 when another man driving a blue GMC truck began “riding his bumper” down the street. The victim said he slammed on the brakes, got out and approached the other driver who allegedly pulled out a black pistol. At that point, the victim got back into his truck, left the scene and flagged down an officer.

Officers reported arresting an 18-year-old Camden man on or after May 30 for first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping involving a 15-year-old girl who suffered some type of apparent minor injury on May 28. The report provided no details of what led to the allegation or the young man’s arrest.

A man living at the Trinity Apartments accused a female acquaintance of stealing $175 worth of lottery tickets from the sun visor in his van. The woman, however, claimed that he was just upset with her for driving the van and scuffing his rims, and that he was jealous that she had just gotten married.

Officers arrested a 29-year-old Camden man for third-degree domestic violence on May 17 after he allegedly slapped his 34-year-old girlfriend in the face causing one side of it to turn red, and pushed her into a door, leaving, as officers described it, “a dark red line running down” part of her torso.

Between 5:30 p.m. May 29 and 1:15 p.m. May 30, someone entered Drayer Therapy at Springdale Plaza and stole $77 in change and a small tablet device. An employee reportedly left the building unsecured when they left for the night.

A woman who had been walking on Lakeshore Drive near 2nd Avenue on the afternoon of May 20 said someone threw a cup of ice at her from a grey jeep, striking her in the head.

Between May 2 and 18, someone forced their way into a Doby Street home, damaged several objects and stole some garden tools from the back porch.

Camden officers also dealt with other incidents involving assault by intimidation, burglary, communicating threats, DUI, failure to return rental property, harassment, larceny, no driver’s license, open container, shoplifting and simple possession of marijuana, theft motor vehicle parts or accessories, third-degree assault, and vandalism.

(The Camden Police Department provides reports under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.)