Man with ‘flame thrower’ device in custody after standoff

  • Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 11:11 p.m.
Staff photo by Derrek Asberry 
Traffic on Jefferson Davis Highway was delayed and redirected for about 90 minutes Tuesday while deputies negotiated with a man holed up inside a home.
Staff photo by Derrek Asberry Traffic on Jefferson Davis Highway was delayed and redirected for about 90 minutes Tuesday while deputies negotiated with a man holed up inside a home.

An Aiken man was detained Tuesday after he confronted deputies with a homemade “flame thrower” device when they attempted to serve him with probate papers, according to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident happened about 10:55 a.m. at a home on the 700 block of Jefferson Davis Highway, according to Sgt. Jason Feemster, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

Police closed a portion of the Aiken-Augusta Highway for about an hour-and-a-half from Greenville Road to the bypass during the incident.

Deputies went to the home to serve probate papers to the man living there, who didn’t come to the door when deputies knocked.

“At that time, deputies decided it was best to breach the door to serve the papers,” Feemster said. “When the door was breached ... he used a flame-thrower-type device at the deputies.”

The deputies then deployed a “less lethal beanbag round,” which Feemster described as a beanbag that is deployed from a shotgun-type weapon. The round struck the suspect in the leg and he retreated back into the home.

SWAT was called to the scene and team members deployed a chemical agent into the home, Feemster said. The suspect exited the home a few minutes later. No one else was in the home when the incident occurred, and Feemster said the suspect was treated by EMS at the scene and transported to Aiken Regional Medical Centers “in reference to probate papers.”

The suspect’s name has not been released. Feemster said the suspect faces two counts of first-degree assault and battery. The deputies and SWAT team members responding to the scene were not injured.

“He was secured safely, so we’re happy about that,” Feemster said.

Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.

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