Local crime news in brief for Oct. 9

  • Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012 9:42 p.m.

Sheriff’s Office investigates assault

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an alleged assault that left one man badly injured.

According to a sheriff’s report, the 19-year-old man was found by New Ellenton police on Whiskey Road covered with blood and bleeding from his nose, forehead, mouth and two deep cuts on his back. He was transported to Aiken Regional Medical Centers for treatment.

The man told police he was beaten at the location by two men on North Street. One of the men allegedly struck the victim’s girlfriend, at which point the man “tried to intervene,” according to the report.

Both men than began beating the victim, and one of them allegedly struck him with a glass candle holder. The man told deputies he “broke free” and was found by New Ellenton police on Whiskey Road.

According to the report, New Ellenton police officers found the two men accused of assaulting the victim and the victim’s girlfriend. All three “denied any knowledge of an assault, stating that victim fell on broken glass in the kitchen area.”

Man detained for driving under the influence

A 34-year-old man was detained for driving under the influence after reportedly crashing his vehicle into a utility pole and attempting to flee the scene.

Gary West, of Brandt Court, was also charged with driving under suspension, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and possession of a suspended tag. He was placed in the Aiken County detention center but released on bond.

According to a Public Safety report, West’s 1997 Nissan was sitting sideways “into a utility pole” at Sundy Avenue and Jake Place. A witness told officers the driver left the vehicle and gave them a description of the man. She then pointed to him walking down Sundy Avenue.

Officers followed the man, who was wearing a shirt covered in blood and was bleeding from his nose and a laceration on his face, according to the report. West was staggering, had slurred speech and a heavy odor of alcohol emanating from him, according to the report.

A gun was found inside the car, according to the report.

Man detained for disorderly conduct

An Aiken man was detained for disorderly conduct after he allegedly opened a large folding knife while speaking with employees in a Verizon Wireless store.

Harry Sydnor Willis Jr., 62, of Barway Drive in Aiken, was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to a Public Safety report, the manager of the store was greeting customers when Willis walked up to him and asked how many people were waiting in line. The manager told Willis there were three in line in front of him.

Willis reportedly asked the manager the question again while opening a folding knife, and went up to several employees with the knife, repeating, “I’m having a bad day,” according to the report.

Willis said he was “trying to get help with his meth addiction,” according to the report.

Officers found a gun and ammunition inside Willis’ car, along with a plastic bag containing a rock residue, syringes and a jewelry box containing several rusty razor blades and half of an unknown white pill.

Police seek suspects in shooting death

CrimeStoppers of the Midlands is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the individuals involved in the shooting death of 28-year-old North Augusta resident Travis Smith.

Smith died at Ridgeview Manor Apartments early on Sept. 29, according to the North Augusta Department of Public Safety.

Officers received a 911 call about a shooting at the apartments on Bradleyville Road and found Smith dead on a couch inside an apartment with a gunshot wound to his abdomen, according to previous reports.

A witness told police two men approached Smith while he was standing outside apartment B-417 visiting friends, Thornton said.

One suspect fired a single shot in the direction of Smith and his girlfriend as they ran inside the residence, Lt. Tim Thornton said. Both shooting suspects are described as black males more than 6 feet tall and weighing around 160 pounds, police said.

According to reports, one suspect wore a dark red hoodie, and the other wore a black hoodie. Police said they consider them armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call CrimeStoppers of the Midlands at 1-888-CRIME-SC, or the North Augusta Department of Public Safety at 279-2121.

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