Authorities respond to multiple assaults in one-week span

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By Chris Sardelli

Authorities had their hands full investigating a bevy of assault incidents during a one-week stretch late last month. 

Between Feb. 15 and 22, deputies responded to at least seven separate assault calls, with at least three of an aggravated nature, according to Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office incident reports.  

The first incident happened just after 9 p.m. Feb. 15 in the 100 block of Boyd Faile Road in Heath Springs when a 55-year-old man reported he was attacked, an incident report said. 

The victim told deputies his roommate grabbed him and threw him down, which resulted in his nose bleeding. Deputies noted in the report there was dried blood on the man’s face and smeared blood in several areas around the home. 

They then spoke with the roommate, Barry Hunter, 48, who admitted to grabbing the victim and having “pushed his face in the couch causing his nose to bleed,” the report said.

Hunter was arrested for third-degree assault and battery, the report said. 

Two days later, on Feb. 17, an Indian Land woman reported an assault by her boyfriend that happened about five days earlier, according to a separate incident report. 

She said the assault happened after an argument with the man, when he punched her in the ribs and pushed her onto the ground, the report said. 

The woman was later treated at Carolinas Medical Center in Pineville for a bruised lung and two hairline rib fractures. 

The victim declined to press charges and none were filed against the man, the report said. 

On Feb. 19, just before 10 a.m., deputies received another assault call, this one a motor vehicle assault in the 1100 block of Second Street, a report said. 

Two employees with a repossession company told deputies they had found a car they had been searching for, though there was a woman in the driver’s seat.  

They said the woman rammed their car, backed up and then sped away, the report said. 

Using a GPS tracking device, deputies found Latwanyept Stover, 32, near the car on Shelton Street, though she denied driving the car, the report said. 

Deputies noted in the report the car had a damaged left front bumper.

Based on descriptions given by the two victims, Stover was charged with third-degree assault and battery and malicious injury to property less than $2,000, the report said. 

Later that day, at 8:40 p.m., deputies were called to a fight between a man and woman somewhere along Deer Forest Drive in Indian Land, a report said. 

A 22-year-old woman flagged down deputies to report an assault by her ex-boyfriend. 

After telling the man to leave her alone, he grabbed her wrist and squeezed it, threatened her and also bruised her thigh, the report said. She also reported the man struck her car with his vehicle, with estimated damage of $1,000. 

No one had been arrested in the case by the end of February. 

Road rage, woman bitten 

Investigators were called to another assault, this time a possible road rage incident on Feb. 20 at the intersection of Charlotte Highway (U.S. 521) and Fort Mill Highway (S.C. 160) in Indian Land. 

A 68-year-old man told deputies he was traveling on Marvin Road when a blue van sped up behind him, flashed its head lights and honked its horn, a report said. 

When he stopped at a red light, the driver exited the van and began shouting, “You crazy old man, you are driving too slow,” a deputy wrote in the report. 

The victim then turned right onto Charlotte Highway, though the man followed and tried to run him off the road, the report said. 

When the victim stopped to turn onto Fort Mill Highway, the driver again exited the van and approached him. The victim also got out of his car and asked what was wrong. That’s when the man threatened to kill him and then struck him in the chest, the report said. 

Based on witness information, deputies tracked down the van and planned to speak with the driver, though it’s unknown if any charges will be filed. 

A few days later, at 8:10 a.m. on Feb. 22, deputies responded to a fight between two women in the 1100 block of Second Street. One woman said the other bit her on the arm and then threw a glass jar at her head, a report said. 

Deputies noted in the report the victim had a half-inch long cut on her forehead, several scratches on her face and a bite mark on her arm. 

The investigation is ongoing, though no one has been arrested, the report said. 

Aggravated assault

The most serious case happened at 11:33 a.m. Feb. 22, when a woman was violently assaulted inside a Blackmon Circle home in Kershaw.

Deputies spoke with the woman, who reported being assaulted by her boyfriend after an argument, an incident report said. 

She said the man pushed a pillowcase over her face and tried to smother her. When she  started having trouble breathing, she kicked the man in self-defense, though he shoved her against a desk and pushed her into a wall, the report said. 

“(The man) grabbed her with his right hand around the throat and began choking her,” a deputy wrote in the report. “(The man) also punched her in the top of the head several times.”

The man then picked up a flat-screen television and hit her with it several times. He then left the home and a family member called 911. 

Deputies noticed the woman had red marks on her neck, shoulder and arm, as well as scratch marks on her arm, lip and hip. 

Though deputies later spoke to the man over the phone, he said nothing happened and refused to come back to the scene. The investigation is ongoing, the report said. 

Common statistics?

Though seven assaults in a one-week period sounds troubling, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Matt Shaw said it’s a normal trend. 

“We have a couple simple assaults a day. It’s very, very common,” Shaw said. “Aggravated assaults, though, are the ones that concern us more than anything.”

According to sheriff’s office crime statistics, there were 23 aggravated assaults through Feb. 16 in 2013, which rose to 24 during the same period this year. 

Shaw said there 157 aggravated assaults during the entirety of 2013. 

“If you divide that by 365, that’s like one every other day,” Shaw said. “That includes domestic violence assaults.”

He said the majority occur on weekends between acquaintances. 

“When you look at Friday-Saturday night, there are more people out at clubs and drinking and staying out late and that’s when it happens,” Shaw said. 

“Our crime analyst did look at this issue last year and found that 90 percent of aggravated assaults were by people known to the victim. 

“There’s not usually strangers jumping on strangers,” he said.


Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416