Beech Island man charged with attempted murder

Cook
Cook

An Aiken County man was detained in Bamberg County on Monday after he tried to run over three lawmen during a chase, according to the Bamberg County Sheriff's Office.

Tracy David Cook, 39, of East Street in Beech Island, was charged with three counts of attempted murder, manufacture and distribution of cocaine, distributing or manufacturing cocaine within a half-mile of a school, possession of burglary tools, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance with intent to distribute, driving under suspension and reckless driving. He was placed in the Bamberg County detention center, where he remained on Thursday afternoon with no bond.

The incident happened on Monday about 1:30 p.m., according to a sheriff's report. A resident called police to report a truck similar to Cook's that had been seen on video with a suspect stealing two trailers from his property.

Officers located the truck on Bridge Street in Bamberg, but while attempting to stop Cook, he sped off, leading officers to a motel where he made “numerous traffic infractions.”

Cook refused to exit the vehicle, according to the report. He backed the vehicle up toward the officers, spinning the tires. He then pulled forward, then put the vehicle in reverse a second time and backed up at “full throttle” toward three officers.

Cook's vehicle was disabled as it backed toward the officers, the report stated. The truck raced across the yard of the motel, and Cook continued driving at a high rate of speed until he abandoned the vehicle on McGee Street near the wood line and fled on foot.

Officers from the Bamberg County Sheriff's Office, the Bamberg Police Department, the Denmark Police Department, the Ehrhardt Police Department and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources set up a perimeter, according to the report. Cook was found and arrested after a brief search with additional help from a S.C. State Law Enforcement Division helicopter and a bloodhound tracking team.

“Nobody was injured,” said Chief Deputy Ben Hay. “It was a very close call, though.”

Cook was denied bond at a Bamberg County magistrate on Wednesday.

Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard.

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