Crime & Public Safety

26-year-old was arrested trying to enter Hilton Head Plantation last week. Here’s why

Surveillance technology at Palmetto Dunes

Chief of Security Jim Griner describes some of the advanced technology the department uses to keep track of what is going on in the development.
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Chief of Security Jim Griner describes some of the advanced technology the department uses to keep track of what is going on in the development.

Hilton Head Plantation security officers stopped a 26-year-old man from entering the gated community May 7 because he said he forgot his photo identification, according to a release from the community.

They didn’t know the man they’d stopped was wanted in Jasper County on three narcotics charges, according to a report from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

When security officers at the northern gate on Seabrook Drive called the Beaufort County Communications Center to confirm the man’s identity for a guest pass, they were notified he had three warrants out for his arrest in the neighboring county, the report says.

Security officers were instructed to handcuff him, and Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested him, according to the report.

He had been charged May 10 with possession of narcotics, possession of cocaine and possession of other controlled substances, according to the Jasper County Court Index.

The man said he had no knowledge of the charges, but he was transported to the Beaufort County Detention Center on Friday afternoon, the report says.

His mother retrieved his car at Hilton Head Plantation, according to the report.

About two hours after the arrest, Hilton Head Plantation residents received an email blast from general manager Peter Kristian.

Contacted Tuesday about the incident, Kristian said security officers were following the community’s policies. He explained that security officers did not arrest the man but followed instructions to hold him until law enforcement arrived.

Most gated community security officers have the authority to give traffic tickets and handcuff potential intruders, according to previous reporting by The Island Packet.

Lt. Williette Lee briefs second shift security officers at Hilton Head Plantation. Katherine Kokal, The Island Packet.

“They are the face of each and every plantation on the island,” Hilton Head Plantation general manager Peter Kristian told The Island Packet in December 2018.

Hilton Head Plantation sent out several requests for applications for security guards last year, and Kristian said it’s a force that’s “always in a state of flux.”

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Katherine Kokal moved to South Carolina in 2018 after graduating from the University of Missouri and loves everything about the Lowcountry that isn’t a Palmetto Bug. She has won South Carolina Press Association awards for in-depth and government beat reporting. On the weekends, you can find Kati doing yoga and hiking Pinckney Island.