Keri Anne Gibson Messick
John Harvey Hunter
By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer
(Walhalla, SC)———————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Spartanburg man on multiple charges and is seeking a North Carolina woman in an incident in Oconee County Wednesday evening.
26 year old John Harvey Hunter of 458 North Church Street in Spartanburg was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:02am Thursday morning. He has been charged with Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol, Possessing a Weapon and not being authorized to do so (the weapon was reported stolen from Greenville County) and Giving False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer. He was also cited on a uniform traffic ticker for Public Disorderly Conduct. Deputies are seeking 21 year old Keri Anne Gibson Messick of 304 Birch Street in Lowell, North Carolina on outstanding warrants of Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol, Possessing a Weapon and not being authorized to do so, Resisting Arrest, and Public Disorderly Conduct.
Deputies responded around 10:15pm to the Bountyland Quik Stop location on Highway 123 near Old Clemson Highway in response to reports of a disturbance between a male and female in a vehicle near the gas pumps. When deputies arrived, the female, Messick, ran into the store while the male, Hunter, was seated in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle. According to the incident report, Hunter was reportedly belligerent toward one of the deputies. The female eventually came out of the store, where she told a deputy that she and Hunter had gotten into an argument while driving down the road and when they pulled into the business, the argument continued. Messick told the deputy that Hunter reportedly had spit at her but had not physically harmed her.
Hunter continued to be belligerent with the officers on scene, appeared to be nervous and tried to continue to argue with Messick, according to the incident report. Hunter gave the deputies a false name but could not provide identification. Messick provided deputies with her name and date of birth but did not have any identification. Hunter told deputies that he and Messick had gotten into an argument and he asked to get out of the vehicle but she refused to allow him to do so.
An employee of the store told deputies that both subjects were in a heated argument inside the store and used profanity while inside, at which point they were asked to leave.
Deputies tried to identify Hunter through SCDMV records, but after discovering a conflict, Hunter refused to cooperate and asked for a lawyer. Deputies then tried to identify Messick through the same method but no records were found in South Carolina. After an additional officer arrived on scene, both subjects were placed under arrest for public disorderly conduct. As she was being placed under arrest, Messick ran from officer towards Highway 76 where she eventually eluded officers in the woods across the road.
A wrecker was called and an inventory of the vehicle was conducted by deputies, where deputies discovered a hand gun concealed in the back seat on the driver’s side near where Hunter had been sitting. A check of the firearm revealed that it was stolen out of Greenville County. Ammunition that did not match the caliber of the firearm discovered was also found but no other contraband was discovered. The vehicle was towed and Hunter was transported to the Oconee County Detention Center.
During the booking process, Hunter told deputies that he had swallowed some heroin before deputies arrived at the incident location at Bountyland Quik Stop. Hunter was then transported to Oconee Medical Center. He also provided deputies with his correct name and birthdate.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Keri Anne Gibson-Messick is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 864-638-STOP, 1-888-CRIME-SC, or text in your tip to 274637. You don’t have to give your name and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.