A North Carolina man was charged with reckless driving and failure to register a vehicle after he allegedly led deputies on a dangerous chase on Hilton Head Island on Thursday night that ended with deputies using a stun gun on him, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report.
The incident began around 9:30 p.m. when the Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip of a black SUV driving recklessly along U.S. 278 near the toll booths.
A deputy pulled over near the Crazy Crab restaurant along William Hilton Parkway and saw a black Chevrolet Tahoe pull up behind him in the median. The vehicle briefly stopped and then pulled back out onto the parkway and headed west, the report said. The deputy saw that the vehicle did not have a license plate as it “accelerated (away) at a high rate of speed in a reckless manner,” the report said.
The deputy then pursued the SUV, according to the report. As the vehicle passed Jenkins Road, it went through a grass median and made a u-turn in front of eastbound traffic, which stopped suddenly to avoid the SUV. The deputy then lost sight of the vehicles as he checked to make sure other drivers had not collided while trying to avoid the suspect’s vehicle.
An hour later, the report read, the deputy again saw the vehicle traveling west along the parkway and, this time, kept his distance as he called in back up.
An investigator was sitting in an unmarked vehicle as the SUV passed and began to switch lanes without signaling.
“When the suspect vehicle approached 1460 Fording Island Road, it was obvious that he had spotted my marked patrol vehicle and switched from lane three to lane one and then into the left turn lane,” the deputy wrote in the report.
The SUV’s driver allegedly then waited until a large number of vehicles traveling east approached before making another u-turn “right in front of them,” the report said.
“It was clear that the suspect vehicle was attempting to utilize this tactic to get away from officers,” the deputy wrote.
The vehicle then pulled over in the Old Navy parking lot where the male driver got out. Deputies issued several “voice commands” to the man. He refused to comply and became “belligerent,” the report said.
“The suspect continued to take aggressive stances and yell at officers stating he would not comply,” the report said.
After more verbal warnings, a deputy deployed a Taser that struck the man in the back.
He was charged with reckless driving and failure to register a vehicle, both misdemeanors, before he was taken to the Beaufort County Detention Center.