Man accused of attempted robbery at hotel
A New Ellenton man was detained on multiple charges after a shooting incident at a Whiskey Road hotel last month, according to the Aiken Department of Public Safety.
Antoine Williams, 22, was charged with attempted armed robbery, attempted murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and discharging a firearm into a dwelling. He was placed in the Aiken County detention center, where he remained on Tuesday afternoon.
Aiken Public Safety responded to a disturbance involving shots fired just after 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 3 at the America's Best Value Inn on Whiskey Road. The victim told police a man with long dreads and wearing a mask approached him from a room in the hallway of the hotel with a gun, and then a struggle ensued.
“He was trying to rob him when they struggled with the gun,” Lt. Karl Odenthal said.
The gun fired once during the struggle. The victim told officers he fell to the ground to act as if he'd been shot, according to the incident report. The suspect and another man ran from the room and left the area in what appeared to be an older model Nissan that made a left onto Whiskey Road and traveled south toward New Ellenton.
A witness staying near the room from which the suspect allegedly came told police he heard a girl scream and then one gunshot, the report stated. He corroborated the story about the dark vehicle traveling south on Whiskey Road.
Officers found a bullet hole above of the hotel rooms in the hallway where the victim said the shot was fired, police said. Inside the suspect's room, officers found a receipt for a recent transaction at Walmart. They went to the store and were able to obtain surveillance footage of the suspects making the transaction. The suspects and vehicle captured in the footage matched the description provided by the witnesses.
Odenthal said Williams faces an additional charge of discharging a firearm in the city limits. The case is still under investigation.
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.