Crime & Public Safety

Viral Facebook video of police chase to Jasper County gas station is months old, sheriff says

A video posted Wednesday night that went viral on social media shows a police chase in Ridgeland that ended with more than half a dozen Jasper County Sheriff’s Office vehicles, their lights and sirens on, following a car into a gas station.

The video, which was shared more than 500 times by Thursday morning, is five or six months old, Jasper County Sheriff Chris Malphrus told The Island Packet on Thursday. No one was injured in the incident, and the woman in the video has pleaded guilty to charges from the chase, Malphrus said.

He said the Facebook post is the first time he had seen the video and that he’s unsure whether it was posted when the initial arrest happened during the summer.

Malphrus said the “lower-speed chase” began after the woman who was driving the car crossed the middle line and almost drove head-on into a deputy on Frontage Road.

The deputy turned his vehicle around and pulled the woman over for a routine traffic stop.

“She gave the deputy her license and in the midst of the traffic stop, she took off,” Malphrus said.

The deputy called for back up and the chase began, he said, lasting only about three or four miles when the woman pulled into the gas station.

Within seconds of pulling over the second time, the woman was “arrested without incident.”

She’s since pleaded guilty to multiple traffic violations, including failure to stop for blue lights, and the case has been dissolved, Malphrus said.

“This was a case that, other than the very short 3-mile chase, it was very uneventful,” Malphrus said.

He said a lot of factors go into whether deputies decide to initiate a chase, such as whether the suspect poses a danger to society and the risk factors of when and where the chase would be happening.

“We felt like it was OK to chase at that point,” he said, explaining that deputies didn’t know if the woman was under the influence or suffering from a medical issue.

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Lana Ferguson has reported on a smorgasbord of news for The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette since June 2018. Before coming to the Lowcountry, she worked for publications in her home state of Virginia and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she was editor of the college’s daily newspaper.
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