State

Volunteer, 71, accused of striking S.C. guardsman with car

The State

Emergency responders tend to a state guardsman injured in a hit-and-run accident while directing traffic Friday outside of Harvest Hope Food Bank on Shop Road.
Emergency responders tend to a state guardsman injured in a hit-and-run accident while directing traffic Friday outside of Harvest Hope Food Bank on Shop Road. dnorthcutt@thestate.com

A man accused of hitting an S.C. Guardsman with his vehicle while leaving a Shop Road food bank on Friday has been arrested, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Office.

Charles Kauffman, 71, was charged with attempted murder and illegal acts during a state of emergency, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release. He was a volunteer at Harvest Hope Food Bank, where the incident took place, and had just ended his shift, Sheriff Leon Lott said in a news briefing.

Kauffman was arrested just before 10 a.m. Saturday at his residence 404 Holly Ridge Lane, the release said. Richland County Sheriff's Department investigators following up on witness leads and surveillance video led to the arrest, it added.

The sheriff stated that Kauffman deliberately hit a state guardsman with his vehicle as he left Harvest Hope. The guardsman was directing traffic during an emergency food-and-water distribution.

Lott said Kauffman has been a volunteer at Harvest Hope for the past three years. He twice failed to follow the guardsman’s direction to stop, Lott said. The guardsmen was struck by Kauffman and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. He was taken to Dorn VA Medical Center.

He is resting at home, the sheriff said during the briefing.

The guardsman, who has not been identified by name, is a deputy who works as a school resource officer in Lexington-Richland School District 5 schools, according to department spokesman Lt. Curtis Wilson.

Lott said Kauffman was taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

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