Single vehicle fatality

At about 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 8, a motorist died in a single-vehicle accident on U.S. 17, according to Master Trooper Brian Lee with the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Steven Gerardo, 28, died at the scene from injuries received in the crash.

The victim’s 2007 Cadillac was headed south when it ran off of the right side of the road, hit an embankment and ran into a pond.

The driver, who was wearing a seatbelt, died in the accident.

Burglary

Someone broke into an equipment storage unit that belonged to Jeff Jordan Properties over a recent night and took $540 of tools including a sledgehammer, a DeWalt air compressor, Troy built pressure washer and Harbor Freight generator.

The Horry County police report says it appeared that the suspect(s) entered the property on Preakness Circle through a ditch near the road before trying unsuccessfully to get into the side door using a concrete block.

Another burglary

Sometime over a recent three-day period, someone went into a home on Bear Grass Ridge in the Conway section and rummaged through the home, taking firearms from miscellaneous storage areas, along with other consumable goods and coins. The total value of the loss was estimated to be more than $15,000. Horry County Criminal Investigations Division took over the investigation.

Brother vs. brother

Horry County police were called to a residence in the Conway section to deal with a disorderly young man, according to an Horry County police report.

The person who called police said the young man came home intoxicated and smashed a glass back door to the residence. The officer says when he arrived the young man was physically fighting his brother on the living room floor Sunday at about 10:30 p.m. Police separated the suspect and his brother and physically detained the suspect. The report says he was extremely physically resistant and pinched, scratched, spit at and kicked the two officers. A third officer brought a hobble restraint to be placed on the young man’s ankles. He was taken to jail on a charge of breach of peace.

Vehicle incidents

■ Horry County police were called to the Minute Man, located at 3200 North U.S. 70 in the Loris section to check on a call about a stolen vehicle, according to the Horry County police report.

The owner of the vehicle told police he parked his GMC Sierra just left of the front door to the store and ran in to buy cigarettes. When he came out he saw a man he didn’t know leaving in his truck. The truck has a Loris Lions sticker on the center back glass and New York Jets stickers on either side of the Lions sticker. The truck was seen turning right onto U.S. 701 business toward Tabor City, N.C.

Police put out a call for others to be on the lookout for the truck and placed it on NCIC.

■ A Maryland woman called Horry County police when she realized that someone had cut the catalytic converters from two of her vehicles: an RV camper and a box truck, according to an Horry County police report. The report says the woman didn’t know exactly when the theft happened, but reported that it had been within the past month. Both vehicles had obvious cut marks where the catalytic converters had been, the police report says. The property is a storage unit parking lot on U.S. 701 north.

■ A Conway woman called police to report her Chevrolet Silverado stolen after it was not returned about 90 minutes after the agreed upon time for its return.

Alcohol/drug incidents

■ An employee of the Horry County Department of Social Services went to the Conway Police Department recently to report that a Myrtle Beach woman had delivered a baby in January in the Conway Medical Center. The Conway police report says the mother and child both tested positive for the presence of an illegal substance.

When the report was written DSS had not provided copies of the drug screenings.

■ A young Conway woman was issued a courtesy summons after a Conway policeman stopped her on a recent evening because her tag lights were not shining, according to a Conway police report.

The woman stopped at U.S. 378 at Brown Street. The policeman says when he spoke with the woman he smelled a strong odor of marijuana. The woman then confirmed for the officer that she had smoked marijuana earlier. She also told the officer that she had more marijuana in the center console of her vehicle.

A search resulted in finding a green leafy substance wrapped in clear plastic in the center console. The marijuana was inside a pink cannabis flower package used to hide the smell of marijuana. The marijuana weighed 3.14 grams.

■ When a Conway policeman noticed a gray Volkswagen Jetta traveling at about 11 p.m. on a recent night with an expired license plate, he stopped the Little River woman who was driving, according to a Conway police report.

The policeman says he confirmed that the license plate had expired. The suspect turned onto Forest View Road, pulled into the oncoming lane and stopped on the left shoulder of the road, according to the report.

The policeman checked and found that the driver’s license had been suspended and the driver had one prior conviction for driving with an expired license.

The policeman then searched the woman and found a small plastic container that had fallen from the woman’s pants and onto the ground.

He then recovered six green rectangular tablets that he identified as Xanax not in its original container. The policeman then took the woman to jail where he placed a hold on her for possession of Schedule II narcotics, and she was issued a citation for driving under suspension, second offense, and a warning for the expired vehicle license.

■ Conway police were called to a motor vehicle accident Friday at about 8 p.m. when they found that the vehicle driven by a Myrtle Beach teen had hit the rear of another woman’s vehicle.

Before the policeman arrived, emergency medical workers had checked both women and determined that neither needed medical attention, according to the Conway police report.

When the policeman spoke with the teen he said he smelled alcohol, according to the Conway police report.

The teen then told the policeman that she was heading home from a bar and had consumed alcohol, according to the report. She performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was taken in for a breath test. She registered .17 on the breath test and was charged with driving under the influence, 16 and higher, first offense.

The police report says the officer found a clear cup on the teen’s floorboard. The substance inside appeared to be consistent with a mixed liquor drink.

The vehicle was towed with heavy front-end damage caused by the accident, according to the Conway police report.

■ A Conway police officer stopped a Conway driver Friday at 4 a.m. when he saw that her vehicle was violating tag light regulations, according to a Conway police report.

The officer said when he spoke with the duo in the car he smelled a strong odor of marijuana. The passenger then told the officer she had smoked marijuana. The officer checked the vehicle and found a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. It weighed 13.88 grams. The driver did not have a driver’s license and was issued a ticket for that infraction.

■ At about 8:30 p.m. Friday night, a Conway policeman was dispatched to a single motor vehicle accident, according to a Conway police report.

When he arrived he found a Conway man who was incoherent behind the wheel of the running vehicle. The policeman then determined that the man had not been involved in an accident, but had pulled off on the side of the road. The policeman says he smelled alcohol and the man was not able to stand alone, so the policeman decided not to try field sobriety tests. The driver was taken to Conway Fire Station 3 for a breath test, but after waiting 20 minutes decided not to give a breath sample.

He was taken to Conway Hospital where he was given clearance for jail. He was charged with driving under the influence, second offense, according to the report.

■ A young Myrtle Beach woman was stopped by Conway police Friday at about 9 p.m. when the officer began to think that she might be impaired, according to a Conway police report.

The policeman says he smelled alcohol and noticed that the woman had bloodshot, watery eyes and was slurring her speech.

She performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was taken in for a breath test, the report says.

She registered .07 and was charged with driving under the influence, less than .10, first offense, and was taken to jail.

■ Conway police were called to East Cox Ferry Road and Husted Road Friday at about 11 a.m. to check on a motor vehicle accident, according to a Conway police report.

The report says a Conway man told police that he was driving the vehicle that caused the collision.

While speaking with the man, the policeman says he smelled alcohol and saw that his eyes were red and glassy.

The suspect told police he had drunk one alcoholic beverage before driving.

He performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was taken in for a breath test, which he refused, according to the report.

He was taken to Conway Medical Center where he refused treatment.

He was taken to jail where he was charged with driving under the influence, first offense.

■ A Conway man was issued a warning for making an improper turn from Wright Boulevard onto Waccamaw Drive Monday at about 1 a.m., according to a Conway police report.

The man was also charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and crack, possession of a Schedule 2 narcotics and unlawful carry of a firearm after police say they found drugs, a gun, 14 bullets and $2,450 in cash in the man’s vehicle, along with a digital scale.

The Conway police report says when the policeman asked the suspect if he had anything he needed to know about inside his vehicle, the man said he had a few “roaches”, a common name for the end of a marijuana cigar, the report says.

The suspect also told police he had a handgun on the back floorboard. During a search, the policeman found a white plastic bag in the center console cup holder with a white rock-like substance that the officer believed was crack. The officer then found a pre-rolled marijuana cigar, a plastic bag holding what was suspected to be marijuana, a second plastic bag holding a white rock-like substance, a digital scale, the cash and a container holding two white pills that were identified as a Schedule narcotic in the center console. The policeman then found two more plastic bags holding suspected marijuana, a black box with a 50-AE Magnum Desert Eagle handgun, ammunition and a third bag of a white rock-like substance and a black can with what was suspected to be marijuana in the glove box and more ammunition under the driver’s seat.

The suspect admitted that the narcotics were his, according to the police report. He was taken to jail. The white rock-like substances totaled 8.1 grams and the green leafy-like substances totaled 56 grams. Two pills were identified as Oxycodone, a Schedule 2 drug.

He was released from jail later that day on a $16,000 bond.

■ A young Conway area man was charged with disorderly conduct and simple possession of marijuana after three Horry County officers went to his home Friday at about 4:30 p.m. after they say dispatchers had gotten a 911 hang up call, according to an Horry County police report.

The dispatcher told police they could hear yelling in the background and said the suspect “was going crazy.”

The Horry County police report says when the policeman arrived he found another officer already there trying to speak with the suspect, who was not cooperating or listening to verbal commands. He was outside in the front yard yelling and screaming, being loud and boisterous in the public view, according to the report. When two officers kept trying to get the suspect to calm down and stop screaming, he didn’t comply.

A family member said they didn’t want to press charges against him, but the suspect continued to be loud and boisterous.

Three officers then decided to charge him. They searched the young man and found a small clear plastic bag holding a green leafy substance that they believed to be marijuana. He was taken to jail where he was given two tickets.

Wanted teen has a gun

A Conway policeman spotted a Lake City teen that police were looking for on a charge of petit larceny. The Conway police report says the vehicle was in the parking lot of Big Lots when an officer saw it and the driver, who matched the description of a suspect involved in a crime that the CPD had warrants for.

When the vehicle began to leave the parking lot, two officers saw it make a right turn onto Church Street headed south. The officers said the driver did not maintain his lane so they initiated a traffic stop. The driver stopped his vehicle in traffic in front of the Chick-fil-A where he got out and ran across oncoming traffic toward Sixteenth Avenue through the Coastal Centre parking lot.

The policeman got out of his vehicle and began chasing the suspect, who kept running toward Sixteenth Avenue where a second officer was able to catch up to him in his patrol vehicle. The officer got out of his vehicle and ordered the teen to stop and put his hands up. He complied surrendering with his hands up and falling onto his knees.

The driver was placed on his stomach where he was charged and handcuffed.

The report says the driver then said he had a gun in his front pocket. The policeman got the gun from the teen’s front pocket. The teen also said then that he didn’t have a concealed carry permit for the gun, according to the report.

When police checked the man’s record they learned he had a warrant with the CPD.

The report says there was a passenger inside the vehicle and the police smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.

Police then searched the vehicle and found additional ammunition inside the center console.

The passenger was allowed to take the vehicle.

The suspect was taken to jail where he was charged with unlawful carry of a pistol. He was also issued citations for not having a driver’s license and disobeying a police officer. He was given a written warning for improper lane use for traveling left of center.

He was released the next day.

No concealed weapons permit

A young Marion man got the attention of a Conway policeman who was on routine patrol on Church Street Saturday at about 6 p.m. when he noticed that the man’s vehicle had a defective headlight, according to a Conway police report.

Police checked and found that the registration that the man showed had the wrong tag on his vehicle and it was suspended.

The policeman says before his stop he saw the young man making movements in the center of his vehicle. He stopped at Circle K on Church Street where he asked for the young man’s driver’s license, but the driver offered the cop his credit cards and other transaction cards instead. The policeman says the driver was not making much sense he thinks because he was nervous.

The young man told the policeman that the tag on the vehicle belonged to a truck that he had just sold.

The policeman then called for the department’s K9 officer Roko to do a free air sniff. The driver then told the cop that he had smoked marijuana inside the vehicle. Roko gave a clear positive alert on the vehicle, according to the police report.

The driver told the officer there was nothing else inside the vehicle, but when an officer searched he found a black MP Shield 40-caliber handgun in a pair of jeans on the floorboard. The jeans had a chain connected to a brown wallet and inside the wallet was the driver’s identification card.

The policeman checked the handgun and it came back clear; however, he told police he didn’t have a concealed weapons permit. Also his driver’s license came back as suspended.

The young man was charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol and driving under suspension, first offense. He was taken to jail where he was issued a citation and warning for the defective headlight.

He was released from jail the next afternoon.

Tools stolen

Horry County police were called to CHL Construction in the Conway area to check on a report of a burglary that happened Saturday between midnight and 11:30 a.m.

Police say they found that doors had been torn off of a work building and estimated damage to the building and loss of tools at about $1,100.

Missing tools included a DeWalt saw, Ridgid miter and orange fan. The fan was found on the other side of the fence line.

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I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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