Monthly Archives: May 2013

Upcoming Event in Fair Play to help Raise Money for DOK Kits for Sheriff’s Deputies

Tourniquet Case

Tourniquet Case

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————-An event in Fair Play in the middle of June will help raise money for the purchase of kits that could help save a deputy’s life.

The event is called Turn a Kit For a Cop and will take place on June 15th from 4pm until 7pm at the location of the Gazebo Restaurant at Highway 11 at I-85. The event is sponsored by the Gazebo Restaurant, Lake and Land Realty, and Phantom Fireworks of Fair Play.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to purchase DOK Kits, which contain lifesaving first aid materials, which includes a tourniquet.

“The DOK kits contain several different kinds of bandages,” according to Captain Jeff Underwood of the Road Patrol division of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. “The main component of the kit is a tourniquet for life saving incidents where there is a tremendous blood loss. We want them to maintain that tourniquet on their body at all times. They will have a little pouch that will keep the tourniquet intertwined in their vest and it will be in the same place for all the deputies. That way if the officer needs help they will know where to find it. The rest of the kit will be maintained in their vehicle.”

“There have been a number of instances in the Upstate where officers have had their lives saved, Greenville County recently,” says Captain Underwood. “An officer was shot and had a tourniquet placed on his leg. It probably saved his life. A lot of knowledge was gained through the global war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq based on field tourniquet use concerning the myth that if you ever used a tourniquet that you were going to lose that limb. They found that that was not the case at all.”

B-BBQ plates will be sold at the event for $8.00 each at the Gazebo Restaurant and will be served by deputies. The plates will consist of a B-BBQ sandwich, slaw, baked beans and tea and will be either eat in or carry out.

Also scheduled for the fund raiser will be a dog demonstration, the Sheriff’s Office helicopter, the S.W.A.T. van, one of the Sheriff’s Office boats, the fire department smoke house demonstrator, face painting for children, and a father’s day card center. Plus, a cake sale and a cake walk with take place, and coupons will be available for discounts on fireworks from Phantom Fireworks.

Also, with each B-BBQ plate purchased, individuals will have a chance to win great prizes from sponsors in drawings that will take place, plus a grand prize will be awarded as well. Individuals will also have a chance to buy extra tickets to win gift certificates from area supporters. You do not have to be present to win.

Plus, Diamond-T Promotional Gear will have Fair Play t-shirts for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to the fundraiser. Also, some of the DOK kits are scheduled to be on display as well.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit Providing Presence on the Water

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office not only has a presence on the highways and roads, but also on the water as well.

With the summer boating season underway, the Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit has been and will be out on the water in full force!

The Marine Unit will be patroling all boat landings and will have help out whenever needed on the lakes and rivers throughout the year. The Marine Unit will have a presenece on the water that will be seen and felt. The Marine Unit will also be assisting the Department of Natural Resources as well.

The Marine Unit is and has been in the process of handing out brochures to those folks they meet on the water. These brochures contain safety tips, a boating checklist and recommendations for all boaters. Plus, emergency contact information for the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and for Tow Boat U.S. Lake Keowee, as well as the purpose for the Marine Unit and the Sheriff’s Office Mission Statement.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Deputies Needing the Public’s Assistance to Find Lawn Mower

This is a picture of a mower similar to the one reported stolen in a recent larceny near Seneca on Wright Circle near Friendship Road

This is a picture of a mower similar to the one reported stolen in a recent larceny near Seneca on Wright Circle near Friendship Road

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in regards to a larceny case involving a riding lawn mower.

According to an incident report, on May 23rd deputies responded to Wright Circle near South Friendship Road in Oconee County near Seneca in regards to a larceny call. An individual reported to deputies that the last time he saw his Toro riding lawn mower was the Saturday before Mother’s Day when he cut grass. He came back to check on the residents at the Wright Circle address when he noticed the lawn mower was missing. The mower was reportedly stored in a barn beside the house.

The mower is a red in color Toro Ground Master 322 D and according to the owner is valued at around $4,500.00. The Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation.

If you have any information regarding this case, please call Crimestoppers at 638-STOP or 1-888-CRIME-SC or text in your tip to 274637. If you tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Makes Arrest in Shoplifting Case from April

Picture OneShoplifting Suspects

Austin Richard Armstorng

Austin Richard Armstorng

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in a shoplifting case that occurred during the early morning hours of Wednesday, April 24th at the Wal-Mart location at 1636 Sandifer Boulevard in Seneca.

According to deputies, a Crimestoppers tip led to the arrest of 20 year old Austin Richard Armstrong of 310 Concord Avenue in Anderson. The arrest took place back on Wednesday, May 22nd. The warrant charges Armstrong with shoplifting.

According to a Sheriff’s Office press release from April 25th, two individuals entered the store (Wal-Mart) around 4:41am Wednesday morning (April 24th) and are accused of stealing two HP laptop computers, valued at $478 dollars apiece. Deputies say that one of the individuals reportedly loaded two computers and started pushing the buggy. The other subject took over the pushing duties and both exited the store running. The suspects left the store around 4:52am and then exited the parking lot about a minute later.

The suspects left in blue mini-van but deputies are unsure of the make and model.

Oconee County Sheriff’s deputies have also issued an arrest warrant for the second individual suspected to be involved. 25 year old Roger Dale Richey of 232 Brentwood Circle in Anderson is also wanted on shoplifting charges, according to that warrant.

Armstrong pled guilty to the charges in May of 2013 and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and was ordered to pay a fine.

Richey also pled guilty to the charges in August of 2013 and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Makes Drug Arrest for Marijuana

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Timmy Andrew Brown

Timmy Andrew Brown

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office made a drug arrest earlier today in Salem and a man has been charged on two drug counts.

42 year old Timmy Andrew Brown was charged today with manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana.

According to investigators, agents went to 106 Glory Land Road in Salem, when upon arrival they noticed a marijuana plant growing in a flower bed besides the porch. Mr. Brown was sitting on the porch at that time when deputies identified themselves as working for the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and said that they wanted to talk to him about his marijuana plants. Mr. Brown, according to incident reports, signed a consent to search and told deputies about his plants.

Mr. Brown notified deputies about 4 plants located in his flower/herb garden, 2 plants on the air unit in the back, and 3 growing about 30 yards away in the nearby woods. A small bag of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia was seized as well.

A total of nine plants were seized, with a value of around $18,000.

Mr. Brown was arrested and transported to the Oconee County Detention Center where he was booked in around 2:01pm this afternoon.

Brown pled guilty to one count of Manufacturing Marijuana and was sentenced to three years in prison suspended to time served and two years of Probation. Brown was given credit for one day of time served.

Sex Offender Supplement Available at Oconee County Sheriff’s Office

Sex Offenders Supplement

Sex Offenders Supplement

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Seneca Daily Journal, published a sex offenders supplement, which was available in this past Saturday’s edition of the paper.

The supplement contains information on the names, addresses, and offenses of the more than 150 registered sex offenders currently living in Oconee County. The supplement also contains safety tips and other information for parents and children and comments from Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw.

If you would like a copy of the supplement, they are available while supplies last in the lobby of the Law Enforcement Center at 300 South Church Street in Walhalla during normal business hours Monday thru Friday from 9am until 5pm.

U.S. Third District Congressman Jeff Duncan Visits Oconee County Sheriff’s Office

Third District U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan

Third District U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan

Third District U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan and Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Third District U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan and Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————U.S. Third District Congressman Jeff Duncan met Monday morning with law enforcement, fire fighters, paramedics and first responders at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office to pass along his appreciation for their work and talk about potential grant opportunities.

This morning’s visit to the Sheriff’s Office was part of the Congressman’s “Thanking Our First Responders Tour” that began last Friday and concludes tomorrow. The tour will take the Congressman through into Oconee, Pickens, Anderson, Abbeville, and Laurens counties. The Congressman spoke for over 10 minutes and then took some questions and listened to some comments for those who were gathered this morning.

“I appreciate everyone coming this morning and I appreciate Congressman Duncan being here,” said Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw as he introduced Congressman Duncan to those gathered in the second floor training room at the Law Enforcement Center in Walhalla. “I guess all of us know that whether it is fire, EMS, or law enforcement that we have each other’s back. It is also important that we have someone in Washington that has our back. I am certainly proud that Congressman Duncan does that. He understands the importance of border security and the drug cartels that we are dealing with in Oconee County and he understands the significance of that.”

“I don’t really have an agenda except to come and thank you for what you do,” said Congressman Duncan. “What we had in Boston (concerning the terrorists attack a few weeks ago at the Boston Marathon) was police, fire, first responders and EMT’s running towards the sounds of the bombing and you had others running away from it. We are very mindful of the fact that first responders put themselves in harm’s way to protect us. You guys do that every day and we don’t take that lightly.”

“We got those heroes right here,” according to Congressman Duncan. “You perform the same duties and wear the same uniforms. Luckily we have not had any major incidents that require y’all to be seen in the eyes of the public in that way. We know what you do and we first off simply want to say thank you because it is something I need to do and to let you know that we have your back.”

Even with the issues of the federal budget in Washington, Congressman Duncan says that he stands ready to assist law enforcement, fire, EMS and rescue with federal grants that are available. In fact, grant packets were available for officials to pick-up this morning during the Congressman’s visit.

“One thing that we have got is that the federal government has a lot of grants,” says Congressman Duncan. “We have a grant coordinator in our office and we have grant applications here to begin that process to try to find some Homeland Security Grants that may be applicable to whatever agency you are here in Oconee County, whether they are HAZMAT type grants or any other sort of law enforcement grants. We have that ability to at least start chasing some of that to try to help out.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Releases Litter Citation Numbers

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

Walhalla, SC)———————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has promised to make litter enforcement part of its daily enforcement activities. Part of that enforcement is education and keeping the citizens of Oconee informed. The Sheriff’s Office plans on releasing the number of litter citations issued on a monthly basis.

For the month of April, six litter citations were written by Oconee County Sheriff’s Office deputies. In the month of May as of May 23rd, four litter citations have been written by deputies. Litter citations have also been written by other law enforcement agencies in Oconee County, including the Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

While the litter problem remains an issue far from being solved, the Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw remains committed to enforcing the litter laws to the fullest extent of the law.

“The Sheriff’s Office is committed to having every deputy on alert for litter violations,”
according to Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “Our officers will continue to issue
citations as part of our zero tolerance pledge. We realize that litter remains a problem in
our county. It is my hope that through our education, enforcement, and clean-up efforts that we can change the mindset of those who choose to throw their trash along our highways. There are consequences in Oconee County for anyone caught littering.”

The Sheriff’s Office is also announcing that Corporal Tim Rice will be the new Environmental Services Officer and Deputy Rice will be using prison labor in the future to help tackle the litter problem in Oconee County.

“Corporal Rice will be utilizing prison labor on a consistent basis to pick-up litter,” says
Sheriff Crenshaw. “I ask everyone to exercise caution as you drive through these areas.
We plan to place signs along the road alerting drivers to the inmate litter detail ahead.
Corporal Rice will also focus on the large trash dumping investigations and work closely
with DHEC concerning any environmental issues.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Makes Drug Arrest

David Scott Foster

David Scott Foster

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Walhalla man yesterday on multiple drug charges.

52 year old David Scott Foster of 178 Country Acres Road in Walhalla has been charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, distribution of marijuana and manufacturing marijuana.

According to investigators, the Sheriff’s Office made an undercover purchase of marijuana from Foster on May 20th at his residence. Later that day, in a joint operation with the Seneca and Walhalla police departments, deputies with the narcotics and vice unit of the Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on the suspect’s residence. Upon their search, deputies found a bucket in the basement containing a substance which Foster referred to as marijuana, plus drug paraphernalia. Also, 67 marijuana plants were seized, as well as money and multiple weapons. According to investigators, the street value of the marijuana seized was over $134,000.

Foster was arrested and booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:14pm on May 20th.

Foster pled guilty to two counts of Possession of Other Controlled Substance in April of 2014. He served 1 day in jail.

Distracted Driving is a Problem to be Avoided

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————-Distracted driving continues to be a problem everywhere and Oconee County is no exception.

“There is nothing good that comes from distracted driving,” according to Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “Don’t allow something such as this to be the reason for your death or the death of others. I encourage parents to discuss this with their children who are getting their driver’s license. I ask all drivers to avoid this costly mistake and make a promise to yourself that you will not text and drive.”

According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration website, distracted driving is defined as an “activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” The website goes on to say that “all distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.” Distractions occur, according to the website, when “you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off the primary task: driving safely.” Distractions include the following activities:

• Texting
• Using a cell or smartphone
• Eating and drinking
• Talking to passengers
• Grooming
• Reading, including maps
• Using a navigation system
• Watching a video
• Adjusting a radio, CD player, MP3 player

The biggest distraction, according to the NHTSA website, is texting, due to the fact that it “requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver.”

According to nationwide statistics from the NHTSA:

• In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver. Also in that same year, 387,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.

• 18% of injury crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction affected crashes.

• The youngest and most inexperienced drivers are most at risk, with 16% of all distracted driving crashes involving drivers under 20. 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.

• According to the Pew Research Group, 40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger.

• According to Monash University, drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.

• According to VTTI (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute), text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted and sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent – at 55 mph – of driving the length of an entire football field blind. VTTI also reports that headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.

• According to the NHTSA website, the research indicates that the cognitive distraction of having a hands-free phone conversation causes drivers to miss the important visual and audio clues that would help you avoid a crash.

• According to Carnegie Melon, driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.