A South Carolina man who took off instead of pulling over during a traffic stop was ultimately apprehended by an armed citizen, but not before leading police on a chase that reached speeds of almost 100 miles per hour.
Deputies had attempted to pull over 23-year old Christopher Pressley-Council, but the driver had other ideas. He took off, and deputies pursued before they were forced to briefly disengage for public safety reasons. After the officers saw Pressley-Council nearly cause a wreck, however, they picked up speed. Unfortunately, the deputies weren’t able to catch up to the suspect before he crashed his car in some woods and took off on foot.
After deputies began looking for Pressley-Council, they found a resident in the area had him at gunpoint on his front porch. The resident said that Pressley-Council offered him $2,000 to hide him in the house, according to the report.
Pressley-Council was transported to Prisma Health Toumey for possible injuries sustained during the wreck.
Deputies found a vacuum sealed bag containing marijuana on the driver’s side flood board and a digital scale in the passenger seat.
According to the report, approximately 4.3 pounds of suspected marijuana were removed from Pressley-Council’s vehicle. Video surveillance captured the wreck and Pressley-Council fleeing on foot.
I’d say now is a particularly bad time to come running up to a stranger’s home offering them money to let you come inside, and South Carolina’s a particularly bad place to do so, given the high rate of gun ownership for personal protection.
Thankfully for Mr. Pressley-Council, the homeowner didn’t discharge his firearm, but instead held him until deputies arrived moments later.
I’m sure there are going to be some bummed out South Carolinians who are looking for a new supply for the next few weeks. I honestly wonder what would have happened if the suspect had simply pulled over instead of trying to outrun police. Would officers have confiscated the cannabis and sent him on his way after taking down his information? We’re seeing more and more police departments tell officers to use their discretion in making arrests, and there’s a possibility that Pressley-Council could have avoided spending time in the local hospital and the Sumter County jail during a coronavirus pandemic if he’d only hit the brakes instead of the gas pedal.
Instead of self-quarantining at home with several pounds of weed, Christopher Pressley-Council will be stuck in a hospital room or a jail cell for at least a little while. I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, but it very well be the biggest mistake of his life. Jails are going to be perfect breeding grounds for transmission of the disease, and I can think of few places I’d rather spend the next few weeks than inside a county lockup, all because I allegedly decided to go sell several pounds of pot (likely at an increased price) to people who are going to be stuck inside their homes for at least the next couple of weeks.
As for the armed citizen, I’m glad to see that he had his firearm at the ready and was able to protect himself. I’m also thankful that the presence of his firearm was enough to prevent any possible violence, and that he was able to help officers take the young suspect into custody. That’s the best possible outcome for everyone, short of Pressley-Council making better decisions in the first place.