UNION COUNTY — The past week was a busy one for law enforcement in Union County with officers and deputies making arrests for crimes including drug offenses, traffic violations, domestic violence, assault, assault and battery, resisting arrest, and even kidnapping with one case involving possible scams being referred to the US Secret Service for further investigation.
Drug, Traffic Offenses
A Union man is facing multiple drug, traffic, and other charges in connection with two incidents that occurred nearly a month apart.
Travis Sentelle Bates, 31, 108 Erwin Avenue, Union, is charged by the Union County Sheriff’s Office with failure to stop for a blue light, unlawful possession of prescription drugs, disregarding a stop sign, resisting arrest, abandoning a vehicle on a roadway, seat belt violation, driving under suspension, attempted hit and run, reckless driving, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within a 1/2 mile of City Park.
The incident report states that on Thursday, July 6, Narcotics Officers with the Trident Task Force served a search warrant at Bates’ residence. The report states that while officers were attempting to gain forced entry through the front door, Bates ran out the back door where other officers were waiting. It states Bates was taken into custody on outstanding arrest warrants with the Sheriff’s Office for traffic violations.
While being searched by an officer, the report states a quantity of crack cocaine in excess of one gram was located in Bates’ front left pocket wrapped in a plastic bag. The report states that during a search of Bates’ residence officers located a quantity of marijuana, scales and a grinder used to fine grind marijuana. The officers also located $30 cash. All of these items were located in the bedroom area.
After being advised of his Miranda Warning the report states Bates admitted that the drugs were his. He was then transported to the Union County Jail by uniform patrol and issued a summons for possession of marijuana. The report states an arrest warrant would be signed charging Bates with possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within a 1/2 mile of City Park.
The report states the suspected crack cocaine was sealed inside a Best Pack for analysis at SLED.
While additional charges were filed against him as a result of the search of his person and his residence, the charges the warrants for Bates’ arrest he was initially taken into custody on stem from an incident that occurred on Sunday, May 21.
The report on that incident states that a deputy noticed a burgundy Lexus blow through the stop sign at Blassingame Street and West Main Street. The report states the Lexus pulled out right in front of the patrol vehicle, almost striking it. It states the deputy activated his blue lights and siren in an attempt to make a traffic stop on the Lexus, but the Lexus refused to stop and a vehicle pursuit ensued.
After a short chase, the report states the Lexus turned left onto Erwin Avenue from Lawson Avenue. The report states a deputy turned on to Erwin Avenue from Lybrand Street in an attempt to block the Lexus in. It was then that the driver — described by the report as a black male — jumped from the Lexus and ran from the scene.
The Lexus continued down Erwin Avenue and, according to the report, struck the front end of the deputy’s vehicle causing visible damage to the bumper.
The report states the deputy pursued the black male on foot for approximately two blocks advising him he was under arrest and to stop. It states the deputy lost sight of the black male behind a house on Pond Street.
After a search of the area, the report states the K-9 Tracking Unit was called to track the black male. The SC Highway Patrol was called in to work the collision.
The report states that deputies made contact with Trekelia Rene Bishop, 21, also of 108 Erwin Avenue, Union, who stated that her boyfriend, Bates, was driving the Lexus. It states that Bishop said when she heard the siren she went outside and saw Bates as he rolled by her house. The report states Bishop told Bates to stop but he rolled on. It further states she called Bates and told him that he needed to come back to the house because deputies knew he was driving the car. It states Bates never arrived.
The report states Bishop was arrested on unrelated charges and transported to the Union County Jail on Sunday, May 21.
It states the SC Highway Patrol trooper arrived and worked the wreck scene. It further states the Lexus was towed by Ferguson Towing.
The report states the deputy ran Bates through the SC Department of Motor Vehicle files and it indicated that Bates’ driver’s license was suspended.
The deputy then went to the jail to speak with Bishop, but the report states that when he arrived, he was advised that during the dressing out of Bishop a quantity of pills was found in her bra. The report states Bishop said she and Bates bought the Lexus but they did not have insurance on it. It states Bishop was then advised she would be charged with the pills that she had on her.
The report states that warrants would be filed on Bates for failure to stop for a blue light and possession of a prescription drugs and that traffic tickets would be filed on him also. It states that warrants would be filed on Bishop for three counts of possession of a controlled substance.
A Union man ended up in jail for allegedly injuring two people during a fight that grew out of an argument over the installation of a pool liner.
Donald Lee Fowler, 50, 1265 Kelly Road, Union, is charged by the Union County Sheriff’s Office with assault.
The incident report states that on Wednesday, July 12, deputies were dispatched along with EMS to a residence on South 6th Street in Lockhart in reference to a disturbance and someone being cut. When they arrived, the report states the victim said that Fowler had come to the house to get paid for work he had done on the pool and an argument took place and that Fowler had charged at him. The victim said a fight ensued and once they had separated, Fowler left in his truck. He said that was when he realized he had been cut on his left side.
The report states the victim was treated and transported by EMS for his injury.
In addition to the victim, the report states the complainant, the victim’s grandmother, was also at the house. The report states the complainant said Fowler arrived at the house and they discussed the quality of the pool liner installation and the conversation escalated into an argument. It states the complainant said Fowler threatened to cut the pool liner, kneeled down next to the pool and pulled something out of his pocket.
The report states the complainant said her grandson was at the entrance of an outbuilding with his back to Fowler and that’s when Fowler came up behind him, put his hands on him, and the two began fighting. The complainant said she tried to break them up and as a result she was knocked down.
The report states the complainant had a visible cut on her right forearm and an injury to her right ankle. She was transported by EMS to the Union Medical Center Emergency Room.
Photographs were taken of the scene and the injuries and an investigator was called in to assist.
A Union man ended up in jail after he allegedly punched and choked his live-in girlfriend and then allegedly threatened to kill her and blow up her mother’s house.
Karell Harold Thompson, 19, 1109 South Pinckney Street, Union, is charged by the Union Public Safety Department with domestic violence first-degree and domestic violence second-degree.
The incident report states that on Sunday, July 9, city units were dispatched to a residence on Toluca Street in reference to an assault that had already occurred at a location on James Street. Upon arrival, the report states an officer spoke with the victim who said she had been living with her boyfriend, Thompson, for approximately six months. The report states the victim said that for the last week Thompson had been physically and verbally abusing her. It states that the victim said she had confronted Thompson about another female sending him Facebook messages and that he became angry and punched her in the head with his fist and then choked her with his hands. She said it became hard to breathe, but she did not lose consciousness.
The report states the officer could see there were marks on the left side of the victim’s face. It states the victim said there was a knot on the back of her head where she was punched.
The officer then asked the victim if she wanted Thompson charged for assaulting her and the report states she said that she did. The report states officers had the victim write a statement about the incident and one of the officers photographed her injuries.
While officers were still on the scene, the report states the victim said Thompson was calling her phone. The report states she answered and asked Thompson why he assaulted her. It states Thompson never admitted to assaulting her but did say he was going to go to her mother’s house, kill her, and blow her mother’s house up. The victim then hung up the phone.
The report states Thompson called the victim’s phone again, but she did not answer. It states officers then advised her to call Thompson back and try to get a location on him. The report states the victim called Thompson and while he would not reveal his location, officers could tell he seemed to be out of breath. It states the victim said that if Thompson was going to her mother’s house he would have to walk there from James Street.
The report states the victim said she was scared to stay at her mother’s and was going to leave with a friend for the night. It states the victim said she thought Thompson would come to her mother’s house and carry out another assault.
Officers then advised the victim that a warrant would be signed on Thompson for domestic abuse. They then cleared the scene at Toluca Street.
An officer then advised other officers that he was going to drive from Arthur Boulevard to James Street to try and locate Thompson. The report states the officer turned left on to Arthur Boulevard from Stutts Avenue and located a black male walking on Arthur Boulevard to Stutts Avenue and Toluca Street. It states the officer then turned around on Arthur Boulevard and advised other officers via radio that he believed Thompson was walking towards Stutts Avenue and Toluca Street.
The report states that another officer pulled up at the stop sign at Stutts Avenue and Arthur Boulevard and looked to the left and saw Thompson walking towards his vehicle. It states the officer exited his vehicle and put Thompson in handcuffs. The report states the officer noticed Thompson was shirtless and sweating profusely. He then read Thompson his Miranda Rights which the report states Thompson waived and agreed to talk.
The report states Thompson said he had been in a scuffle with the victim at the residence on James Street and admitted that her injuries had come from that scuffle. Thompson said he had been walking to see the victim and apologize to her. The officer then advised Thompson that he’d heard the threats that had been made over the phone. Thompson said that he was just mad and he would not hurt the victim. He said that the victim had been living with him for 10 months.
The officer then advised Thompson that he was under arrest for domestic violence. Thompson was then searched and the report states a pocket knife styled razor blade was found in his pants pocket. The knife was then turned over by the officer who had searched Thompson to another officer. Thompson was then transported to the Union County Jail for booking and the blade taken to the Union Public Safety Department station and placed into evidence. Warrants were to be signed on Thompson for domestic violence.
Assault And Battery
A woman and a man ended up in jail after the woman allegedly attacked a neighbor and the man allegedly attacked another neighbor who was attempting to pull the woman off the first neighbor.
Bethsheba Sherell Williams, 36, 707 Perrin Avenue, Union, is charged by the Union Public Safety Department with disorderly conduct, assault and battery third-degree, and possession of marijuana.
Vincent Edward Jeter II, 33, 707 Perrin Avenue, Union, is charged by the Union Public Safety Department with assault and battery third-degree.
The incident report states that on Sunday, July 9, an officer responded to a residence on Perrin Avenue in reference to a disturbance with an assault. When the officer arrived, the report states there was a black female standing in the road in front of the residence shouting and cursing across the street. The officer then exited his patrol vehicle and placed the woman — who the report identifies as Williams — under arrest for disorderly conduct, handcuffed her, and put her in the back of his car.
The officer then went to the residence and spoke with the first victim who the report states said Williams came over to her home, walked up on her porch, and began assaulting her and yelling. The first victim said that another neighbor came over and tried to pull Williams off of her and that was when Jeter came over and assaulted him.
The report states the officer could smell the strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from the first victim.
The officer then spoke with the second victim who the report states said he was sitting on the porch with his friends when Williams came over shouting and came onto the porch and started assaulting the first victim. The second victim said he tried to pull Williams off the first victim and Jeter came over and pushed him and punched him in the face.
The report states the officer could smell the strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from the second victim.
The officer then asked both victims to write a statement and another officer assisted them with their statement. The report states that both victims said that Jeter got into a blue Honda and left the scene.
The officer then questioned a witness who said she’d seen Williams assault the first victim and Jeter assault the second victim. The witness, however, declined to provide a written statement.
The officer then went back to his patrol vehicle and advised Williams of her Miranda Rights which the report states she did not waive, but did advise the officer that she had some marijuana in her bra. Williams was then transported to the Union County Jail while the other officer remained at the scene filling out victim’s forms and getting written statements. Once at the jail, the report states Williams was patted down by a jailer and the marijuana retrieved from her bra.
The report states the responding officer was then advised by the officer who’d remained at the scene that Jeter had returned. The responding officer then advised the other officer to place Jeter under arrest for assault and battery.
The report states that when the jailer dressed out Williams, two white pills were found in her bra. It states the pills had D25 on them and were identified as Gabapentin which is not a schedule drug. The pills and marijuana were photographed and seized as evidence.
Jeter was brought to the jail and taken into an interview room and advised of his Miranda Rights which the report states he waived and agreed to talk. The report states Jeter said the first victim was talking violent toward Williams and shoved her and that the second victim had hit her. Jeter said that he had pushed the second victim so he could get his wife and that he’d gotten her away and then left the scene. The responding officer then had Jeter give a written statement.
The responding officer then brought the evidence back to the Union Public Safety Department station, placed it in an evidence bag, entered the marijuana into Lawtraks, filled out a marijuana analysis, and placed the evidence bag in the evidence box. The report states the officer also placed the two pills in the evidence bag, logged them in Lawtracks and placed them in the evidence drop box to be destroyed due to no charges being filed for the pills. It states that warrants were to be signed for assault and battery.
A Spartanburg man with a history of domestic violence was arrested this week for allegedly attacking a woman in June.
Otis Lipscomb III, 35, 352 Anderson Drive, Spartanburg, is charged by the Union Public Safety Department with domestic violence first-degree.
The incident report states that on Sunday, June 18, an officer spoke with the victim at the Public Safety Department station. The report states the victim said she’d recently been assaulted by her son’s father, Lipscomb, while driving on Wagnon Street. It states the victim said she was at her sister’s house on McBeth Street with Lipscomb’s cousin when Lipscomb came by in a gold Honda. The report states the victim said Lipscomb had been paroled from prison on Thursday, June 15, on a charge of domestic violence against her.
The report states that the victim said Lipscomb came back a few minutes later and started talking to her and his cousin and asked about his son and she told him he was in the house. It states that Lipscomb eventually left and then the victim left. The report states the victim said she saw Lipscomb walking around South Pinckney Street and he began yelling at her. The victim said she turned on to Wagnon Street and Lipscomb must have cut through a yard because he came up to the car. The report states the victim said Lipscomb reached inside and grabbed her hair pulling her hair bow out. It states the victim said Lipscomb then pushed her in the face and began swinging at her. She said she put her left hand up to block Liscomb’s hand and received several cuts.
The report states the victim said she came to the Public Safety Department station to get away from Lipscomb. It states she gave a written and video recorded statement in the interview room. The report states the victim had cuts on her left forearm which were photographed by the officer. She was issued a victim’s advocate form.
The report states that Lipscomb had two or more prior domestic violence convictions in the last 10 years so the officer handling the case would seek a warrant for domestic violence first-degree based on the victim’s statement, her visible injuries, and Lipscomb’s history of domestic violence.
Lipscomb was taken into custody on Monday, July 10.
Assault And Battery, Kidnapping
A Union man was arrested this week for allegedly attacking a woman and holding her against her will at his home.
Wendell Brannon, 33, 207 2nd Avenue, Union, is charged by the Union Public Safety Department with assault and battery and kidnapping.
The incident report states that on Wednesday, July 12, officers were dispatched to Brannon’s residence in reference to a woman calling 911 for help. Upon arrival, the report states officers knocked on the door several times but were unable to make contact with the caller. The report states dispatchers tried to make contact by phone several times with the complainant but did not get an answer. One of the officers then notified dispatch that no one was coming to the door.
Officers were walking back to their vehicles when the report states two people — one male and one female — walked out of the house. The report states an officer was able to identify the male as Brannon and also the female who turned out to be the woman who had called 911 for help.
The report states the victim said she had come over to Brannon’s house because he had invited her to do so. She said she had not been there long, coming over about 4:30 a.m., about a half an hour before officers were dispatched to the scene. The report states the victim said Brannon had asked her over so that they could work things out together. It states the victim said she walked into the house and went into the bedroom. The report states the victim said Brannon told her to tell him the truth about everything. She said she told him she did not know what he was talking about.
The report states the victim said that after she told him this, Brannon hit her in the lip twice and would not let her leave the house. It states the victim said she called 911 while she was in the bathroom. The report states the victim said she knew if she had tried to call while in the room Brannon would not have let her do so. It states the victim said she could not answer the dispatcher’s calls because Brannon was looking through the phone.
One of the officers then took pictures of the victim’s lip which the report states was swollen and had blood on it. The report states the victim said the shirt she’d had on at the time of the incident had blood on it. It states she said it was in Brannon’s house because she had changed clothes before coming out to speak with the officers.
The officer then filled out a victim’s advocate form for the victim and she in turn provided him with a written statement. He then asked the victim if she would like to press charges against Brannon and she said she would because this had happened several times before but nothing was done because she did not have visual injuries. The officer then told the victim that a report would be documented for the incident and Brannon would be charged with assault and battery and kidnapping.
The officer also spoke with Brannon who said the victim arrived at his house around 4:30 that morning. The report states Brannon said the victim came over to his home because she wanted him to give her some. It states Brannon said they had just come from the store together and that everything was fine. The report states Brannon said the victim’s lip got busted because they were wrestling in the house.
The officer then informed Brannon of the charges being placed against him, placed him under arrest, and transported him to the Union County Jail.
What began as the serving of a bench warrant ended with a Union man also arrested for allegedly having meth in his possession.
Elijah Michael Laster, 28, 335 Wesley Chapel Road, Union, is charged by the Union County Sheriff’s Office with possession with intent to distribute meth.
The incident report states that on Thursday, July 13, a deputy went to a residence on Jonesville-Lockhart Highway in the Union area to take Laster into custody for a bench warrant. The report states the deputy was notified by the home owner that Laster was on her back porch. It states that the deputy found Laster there and advised him that there was a bench warrant for his arrest.
The report states that while Laster was being searched a clear bag containing a crystal-like material believed to be meth was found in his pants pockets. It states the deputy collected the bag as evidence and transported Laster to the Union County Jail.
Possession Of Meth
James Arthur Epps Jr., 65, 105 Harvey Lane, Union, is charged by the Union County Sheriff’s Office with possession of meth.
The incident report states that on Wednesday, July 12, deputies received information that Epps was possibly scamming people out of their money and then wiring it out of the country. The report states deputies had also received information that Epps had a large sum of money and he had had well-known drug dealers in and out of his home and barn at 105 and 106 Harvey Lane. It states the deputies took all the evidence to a judge to obtain search warrant.
The deputies then went to 105 and 106 Harvey Lane to execute the search warrant. During the search of the property, the report states deputies found a large sum of money ($4,400) and several receipts where Epps had sent money out and received money through wire transfers inside the barn at 106 Harvey Lane. The report states the receipts show where Epps wired money to an individual in Nigeria in the amount of approximately $11,639. It states the money was sent through Walmart and Western Union.
The report states that deputies also saw where Epps was picking money up at Walmart through wire transfers in the amount of $7,470 that was sent to him from other people in different states in the United States. It states deputies also found a quantity of a crystal rock-like substance believed to be meth inside Epps’ desk drawer.
Deputies seized all the evidence including a cell phone, a computer, wire transfer receipts, the bag containing the crystal rock-like substance and charged Epps with possession of meth and transported him to the Union County Jail.
The report states the case will be further investigated by the US Secret Service.
The Union Public Safety Department also filed the following charges against the following individuals.
— Justin Linn Cook, 28, 580 Bonanza Drive, Spartanburg, charged Sunday, July 9 with shoplifting.
— Clayton Eugene Duckett, 34, 3528 Cross Keys Highway, Union, charged Saturday, July 8 with driving under suspension.
— Dax Adrian Humphrey, 42, 137 Carolina Avenue, Spartanburg, charged Sunday, July 9 with simple possession of marijuana and having no SC driver’s license.
— Kristin Danielle Pruitt, 28, 2165 Jonesville Highway, Union, charged Sunday, July 9 with disorderly conduct.
— Michael O’Neal Rogers, 39, 115 Woodlawn Avenue, Union, charged Wednesday, July 12 with driving under suspension.
— A 16-year-old juvenile charged Tuesday, July 11 with shoplifting.
— Amber Ray Gilkey, 28, 107 Ravenscroft Street, Union, charged Tuesday, July 11 with shoplifting.
— Angelee Gail Wilson, 42, 202 Railroad Street, Union, charged Monday, July 10 with shoplifting.
— Shametria Lashiava Fleming, 18, 311 South Mountain Street, Union, charged Tuesday, July11 with disorderly conduct.
— Malaysia Shaundreka Brannon, 21, 175 Industrial Park Road, #5G, Union, charged Tuesday, July 11 with disorderly conduct.
— Quiyann Keitel Worthy, 17, 683 Rice Avenue, Union, charged Monday, July 10 with shoplifting.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office also filed the following charges against the following individuals.
— Leroy Hill III, 41, 341 Sardis Road, Union, charged Friday, July 7 with breach of peace.
— Evan Hunter Bradshaw, 18, 7 Bobwhite Lane, Edgefield, charged Saturday, July 8 with shoplifting.
— Chelsey Anna Vaughan, 25, 202 Buffalo Street, Buffalo, charged Tuesday, July 11 with financial transaction card fraud.
— Audrey Michelle Johnson, 20, 1151 Lake Street, Cowpens, charged Wednesday, July 12 with driving under suspension.
— Kelly Lee Crawford, 35, 2722 Buffalo-West Sprigs Highway, Buffalo, charged Monday, July 10 with two counts of malicious damage.
— June Davis Duckett, 52, 609 Happy Valley Road, Union, charged Thursday, July 13 with forgery.
— Dylan Thomas Sellers, 20, 181 Pine Street, Buffalo, charged Friday, July 14 with petit larceny.