S.C. sheriff flees DUI arrest at 100 mph

Sheriff Wayne DeWitt

Sheriff Wayne DeWitt

Note: I hope you all had a happy holiday. I’ve been off for a while, so let’s quickly get to the news stories that got my attention today …

I don’t know what you got for Christmas, but a S.C. sheriff is probably wishing he got a good lawyer.

The Post and Courier reports Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt fled from police north of Charleston at 100 mph and ran a red light after hitting a vehicle.

DeWitt, driving a county truck, eventually pulled the Ford F-150 over and was arrested for DUI and leaving the scene of an accident with injury. He does not currently face charges of fleeing from police.

The sheriff forgot to put the truck in park when he pulled over and it kept going when he got out, according to a bevy of recently released dashboard video obtained by the Post and Courier.

Once the small town police officers realized they had pulled over the county sheriff they are heard on video saying they needed to call in a supervisor “with more stripes” to handle the arrest.

A state trooper arrested DeWitt, who told her he was aware he had hit another vehicle but didn’t “have time” to stop.

After his arrest, DeWitt allegedly said it would “Be kind of odd going into my own jail, but” it was “my fault.”

But he didn’t need to worry. Police went the extra mile by looking for another nearby jail that could spare him some embarrassment. Once DeWitt got to the Charleston County jail he refused a breath test.

DeWitt, while at the jail, called a woman he was supposed to pick up at 6 a.m. “Where the hell are you,” she said before the sheriff told her the bad news.

The incident began after the sheriff allegedly rear-ended a truck turning into a Hardees at about 5:45 a.m. on Dec. 28 in the small city of Hanahan.

The Hanahan police officer who stopped DeWitt, Justice Jenkins, had once been a deputy under the sheriff. Jenkins resigned as a deputy after being charged with driving with a suspended license after he smashed into a car carrying a family of five while responding to a call, writes the Post and Courier.

DeWitt, who skipped a public swearing in ceremony in December, was sworn into a sixth term in office Sunday in private. He has issued a public apology and said he intends to remain in office.

Will the sheriff admit guilt, go to court or seek reduced charges? I would bet on the latter. A judge has already said the arrest might not be legal because, according to some ancient law on the books only the county coroner can arrest a sheriff in South Carolina.

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