- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Authorities are still on the hunt for a man who reportedly tried to entice a female jogger into his van earlier this month.
On Feb. 1, a deputy spoke with a 28-year-old Kershaw woman who said a man tried to lure her into his white van sometime between 8:50 and 9:10 a.m., according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
The victim told deputies she was jogging near a gas station in the area of South Cleveland Street and Stevens Drive when an unknown white man asked her if she needed a ride.
The woman declined, though the driver replied “I insist,” jumped out of the van and approached her, the report said.
Afraid of what the man might do next, the victim started running away and sprayed a can of pepper spray in the direction of the man, the report said.
The man was never close enough to touch the victim, and she was able to run home and call 911.
The victim described the suspect as a white man, in his mid-30s, with curly hair and wearing a tan baseball cap, the report said. The man is reportedly driving an older- model white van with a dented back side.
Deputies searched the area, but didn’t find the man or his van, the report said.
The report said authorities have since stepped up patrols in that area. They also know the woman’s jogging route so they can keep an eye out for the suspect.
Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile said no arrests have been made in the case and investigators are still trying to identify the man.
Faile cautions people in similar situations to never get into a car with a stranger and to make noise if a stranger becomes threatening.
“Never stop (for these types of people) and make as much noise or bring as much attention to yourself as possible,” Faile said. “If you have your cellphone, hit 911, and always try to travel in a well-populated area. Don’t go down a dirt road. If you go running, you need to do it in a place where it’s well-populated.”
Anyone with information about the suspect should call the sheriff’s office at (803) 283-4136.
Deputies also tracked down a Kershaw man in connection with two similar incidents that happened between late December and late January.
In that case, a Heath Springs woman called deputies Feb. 1 to report a man for first trying to lure her daughter and a friend into his car, and then asking the woman herself a few weeks later to get into his car, according to a separate sheriff’s office report.
The woman told deputies the first incident happened sometime during the Christmas holidays as her daughter and a female friend were approached at the Kershaw post office.
The man allegedly told the girls he had pizza in his car and tried to lure them inside, though they instead ran away, the report said. No one filed a police report in that incident.
Then on Jan. 22, the woman was sitting in her car at the intersection of South Ashe and East Marion streets in Kershaw when her daughter recognized the man walking nearby.
She told deputies the man spoke to her through a rolled-down window and asked where she was going. The woman replied “none of your business,” the report said.
The man then asked to go home with her and, when she declined, he begged her to come home with him, the report said. She then rolled up her windows and drove away.
Faile said the incidents are unrelated to the report made by the female jogger and the suspects in the two cases are different. Through the course of the investigation, the man was eventually identified, he said.
Sheriff’s Maj. Matt Shaw said Tuesday, Feb. 11, that investigators located the man and brought him to a hospital on an order of detention. There are no charges in the case, Shaw said.
Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416