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Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Two Men on Kidnapping and Assault and Battery Charges

Timothy Chad Merck

Zachary Claude Crane

(Walhalla, SC)--------------------------------------The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two men on multiple charges, including charges of Kidnapping and Assault and Battery – 1st Degree, in relation to the same incident.

39 year old Timothy Chad Merck of W. Pine Grove Road in Fair Play was arrested yesterday and booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 4:57pm. 29 year old Zachary Claude Crane of Oakway Road in Westminster was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 3:10pm today.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Bureau responded during the early morning hours of February 15th of this year to an address on Unity Church Road, near the Madison Community, in regards to initial reports of a prowler. The complainant told dispatch that a man reported to her that he had been assaulted.

The deputy made contact with the man at a nearby address on Knights Drive and observed a physical manifestation of injuries on the man. The victim told deputies that two men had assaulted him and had pointed a gun at him at another nearby address on Budner Road. Deputies collected evidence from the scene.

The investigation was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Bureau. Based upon the evidence that was gathered in the investigation, Merck and Crane have been charged with one count each of Kidnapping, Assault and Battery – 1st Degree, Possession of a Weapon during Commission of a Violence Crime and Pointing and Presenting a Firearm at a Person.

According to arrest warrants, Crane and Merck pointed a firearm at the victim, unlawfully and not in self-defense. The victim was assaulted by Crane and Merck with an unknown object, which required the victim to receive medical attention. The victim was unlawfully seized from

the Budner Road address and Crane and Merck also possessed a firearm during the commission of Assault and Battery – 1st Degree, which is considered to be a violent crime under South Carolina law.

At this time, Merck remains in custody at the on a combined $55,000 surety bond on the Sheriff’s Office charges. When booked into jail, Merck was also served an outstanding Magistrates Bench Warrant.

At this time, Crane remains in custody, at the Detention Center, pending a bond hearing.

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