Traffic Charge & Possession of Stolen Goods

Fountain Inn Police transferred a local man to the Laurens County Detention Center yesterday, after his Monday night arrest. 52-year-old Michael Thompson of 427 Fairview Street, Fountain Inn was issued tickets by Officer Smith at 10:42 Monday night on Highway 14 in Fountain Inn, charging him with Driving under Suspension and with Possession of Stolen Goods. The arrest occurred on Highway 14 in the Laurens County portion of town. A $7,500 cash or surety bond was set on the Driving under Suspension charge. A $1,000 bond was set on the Possession of Stolen Goods case. Michael Thompson of Fountain Inn remained in the Johnson Detention Center this morning.

No Child in Seat during Gunshot

Clinton Public Safety was called to South Livingston Street at 7:23 last Saturday night on a report of gunfire. The complainant didn’t want to talk, she just wanted more patrols in the area. Lt. Anderson was later flagged down by a resident who said as she and her sister were preparing to leave her home they discovered the back passenger window of her sibling’s car was shot out. She said they found a bullet on the floorboard of the car. The damaged window was near a child seat. They indicated they didn’t hear the gunshot.

Police then conducted extra patrols in the area.

28 Drug Charges Served on Four Yesterday

Twenty-eight drugs charges including possession of controlled substances were served yesterday on four people arrested by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office Sunday for alleged violations that day.

Served with seventeen warrants yesterday was 56-year-old Randy Thomas Bartniki of 122 Tillman, Fountain Inn. He’s charged with one count of Manufacturing Marijuana. Investigator Charles Nations states that Randy Bartniki had possession of items used in manufacturing marijuana with physical evidence of the cultivation of marijuana. The Laurens County resident was also served with one warrant charging Possession of a Controlled Substance, that being Marijuana, with Intent to Distribute.

In fourteen other warrants charging Possession of a Controlled Substance, Officer Nations states that on February 12th RandyThomas Bartniki had possession of various controlled substances. These included, but were not limited to, Diazepam, Alprazalem and Synthetic Marijuana.

A second suspect arrested Sunday, 26-year-old Christopher Michael Bartnicki of 151 Artic Court, Columbia, was served yesterday with seven warrants. These include one count of Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance. Officer Nations alleges that Christopher Bartnicki also had items used in the manufacturing of marijuana with physical evidence of the cultivation of marijuana on February 12th. Christopher was also served with two warrants charging Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute. Officer Nations states these substances were Clonzepam and Marijuana.  Christopher Michael Bartnicki was also charged with four warrants accusing him of Possession of a Controlled Substance. These included Heroin and Synthetic Marijuana.

The third suspect was Jenna Marie Enwright, also of 151 Artic Court, Columbia. Her Sunday arrest came on her 27th birthday. She is charged with two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance.

56-year-old Randy Bartnicki of Fountain Inn, along with 26-year-old Christopher Michael Bartnicki and 27-year-old Jenna Marie Enwright, of Columbia, remained in the Laurens County Detention Center a second night last night, pending their bond hearings today.

The Sheriff’s Office Sunday arrested a 4th person – 34-year-old Wendy Lynn Elizondo of 900 Harris Bridge Road, Woodruff – for two counts of possession of a Controlled Substance. She is accused of unlawful possession of Heroin and Subocone Sublingual Film on Sunday.

Laurens Woman charged with Heroin Trafficking

Heroin Trafficking is one of three drug charges served on a woman the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested yesterday. 44-year-old Lanora Miller of 100 Walker Avenue, Laurens is accused by Narcotics Investigator Matt Veal of knowingly possessing 51 grams of cocaine yesterday without authority to have it. Lanora Miller was also charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and Simple Possession of Marijuana.

Officer Veal states that she had possession of hydrocoeine, a schedule II controlled substance, yesterday. In a third warrant, Veal states that Ms. Miller knowingly and intentionally possessed marijuana, that she had prior convictions for possession of marijuana.

Lanora Miller was held overnight, awaiting a bond hearing at 9:00 this morning.

CPW Checkup Gives 4 & 5 Star Ratings

Many people get regular check-ups from their doctor. Organizations need check-ups, too. The Laurens Commission of Public Works received results of a check-up during the February meeting of the Commission last night.

Rather than a doctor, the report came from Hometown Connections, a utility services subsidiary of the American Public Power Association, which provides consulting support for utilities who belong to the APA. Last night’s was the second check-up for the CPW, the first was in 2010. The assessment looks at various aspects of operations and gives a rating on each, based on a scale of one to five stars. Areas included customer service, community outreach, safety, governance, strategic planning and finance.

Steve Vander-Meer of Hometown Connection indicated the CPW received either four or five stars on each category from the assessment. One item where Vander-Meer suggested there was needed improvement was the CPW web page, which he said was outdated. General Manager John Young advised the commissioners that the staff is working on a new web page. He said he is hopeful this will be finished soon.

Another suggestion from Vander-Meer, was to consider having extended lobby hours at the CPW to accommodate working families, perhaps extended open hours one evening or on Saturday morning.

High Highway Traffic Fatalities in Laurens County

Laurens County’s Traffic Fatality count for 2017 is at four times the number of deaths as this time of year on any of the past three years.

The two traffic deaths noted this past weekend bring the year’s total to eight deaths on Laurens County roadways. One of these eight fatalities was from a wreck investigated by Laurens City Police. The Highway Patrol investigated seven fatalities as of midnight this past Sunday night. Their records show Laurens County with no fatalities at this time last year and in 2014, while there were two as of January 12th of 2015.

The eight fatalities for 2017 include two pedestrians who were killed on Laurens County roadways during the first 43 days of 2017.

Sanctioned BBQ Contest for “Rhythm on the Rails” 2017

The City of Clinton has announced the lineup for 3rd Annual “Rhythm on the Rails” festival for Downtown. Based on the response to the “Back-Yard BBQ Competition,” the planning committee decided to make this a sanctioned event for 2017. After considering several sanctioning bodies the committee felt the Southern BBQ Network (SBN) would be the best fit for Clinton’s festival. Organizers said the SBN family loves BBQ and their mission is to provide qualified judges to contests that support charitable events.  Clinton Special Projects Coordinator Mary-Wallace Riley said “The charitable event support was the idea that sealed the deal for the planning committee.” She added “when we realized we could use proceeds from the BBQ competition to help support our Clinton Community Cares utility bill assistance program, while allowing residents and visitors to enjoy some great BBQ, that was an easy choice!”

The 2017 “Rhythm on the Rails Festival” will be held on Friday, May 19th  and Saturday, May 20th. In addition to hosting a sanctioned BBQ competition, The Tams will be headlining the FREE concert on Friday. The music and dancing begin at 6:00 p.m. at The Depot Stage, right beside the tracks.  Rides will be open from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 PM Friday and from 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Saturday.  $5 wristbands will be available both days for carnival rides and for admission into inflatables.

For more information or to download a vendor or BBQ Competition registration interested persons can visit or can call the Special Projects office at 864-200-4503.

Don’t Run from Cops. It’s a Law!

You’re not supposed to run from Police. In fact, apparently it’s a law.

Because a local man had his charges doubled yesterday based on that. Laurens City Police Sgt. Doug Jones issued tickets for Shoplifting, as well as for Flight upon Sight, on 18-year-old Zachery Hunter Strange of 50 Thimble Drive, Laurens early yesterday. The tickets at 2:07 yesterday morning allege the Shoplifting and running from police at Wal-Mart.

Zachery Hunter remained in custody overnight last night with cash or surety bonds of $650 on the Shoplifting charge and $500 for the alleged attempt to flee from the officer.

Love Is In the Air…..and in the Street?

Today is Valentine’s Day, an occasion for lovers across the world to express their affection for one another. Love being expressed is not limited to lovers, and includes a wide range of relationships, including between relatives, such as grandparents and grandchildren. But romantic love is a big part of the observance, as noted in the cartoons of cupid and his bow.

One Clinton couple wasn’t waiting for Valentine’s Day to celebrate their love. Nor were they waiting until marriage, for that matter; or for having a private abode in which to share their affection. And that’s where the police got involved in their romantic interlude.

Clinton Public Safety was dispatched to Jefferson Street around 8:45 this past Saturday night on a report of a couple “fornicating in public.” Officers reported arriving to observe the vehicle described by the caller and made contact with the occupants. An 18-year-old male appeared to be in the back seat getting dressed, while a 16-year-old female was in the front seat. Officers had the two lovers exit the car for questioning. The male claimed that he and his girlfriend were only kissing, and that she had jumped into the front seat when the police arrived. After questioning, officers determined there was not sufficient evidence to charge them with “Public Fornication.” Officers did, however, determine that the young Romeo had two active bench warrants. One was for failure to appear at court on a Simple Possession of Marijuana charge and the other was on an “Under-Aged Possession of Alcohol” case. The young male was arrested and transported to the Johnson Detention Center for booking, while the 16-year-old Juliet was apparently allowed to go home.

8 Killed So far on Laurens County Roadways in 2017

Laurens County’s 8th traffic fatality of 2017 was registered Sunday afternoon, when a man died of injuries received in a Friday morning wreck near Laurens.

Chief Deputy Coroner Vickie Cheek identified the deceased as 38-year-old Derrick Cofield of 110 Vincent Place Drive, Newberry. She said Mr. Cofield was pronounced dead at 3:20 Sunday afternoon at Greenville Memorial Hospital. Mrs. Cheek said that Derrick Cofield died of blunt force trauma to his head. His fatal injuries were sustained after his vehicle went off the road and crashed into a tree shortly before 7:25 Friday morning at 43 East Jerry Road, Laurens.

His death brings the Laurens County traffic fatality count for 2017 to 8 people. The 7th fatality occurred at 11:17 Saturday night on Boyd’s Mill Pond Road, when 32-year-old Davionaca Brownlee of Cambridge Street, Abbeville was killed when her southbound car ran off the right side of the road and struck a tree. She was entrapped in her ’97 Toyota from the crash. Deputy Coroner Vickie Cheek said she died during the crash from blunt force trauma to her abdomen.

Mrs. Cheek said of the 8 traffic fatalities through Sunday, 2 involved pedestrians on a roadway.

PWID Marijuana in Clinton Yesterday

Clinton Public Safety yesterday charged a Laurens man with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute. 34-year-old Fredrick Lee “Fred: Webb Jr. of 722 Sullivan Street, Laurens is charged with having 47.85 grams of marijuana in his possession in Clinton, which a warrant states is prima facie evidence of intent to sell or distribute. He was also served with a warrant charging Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, which states he had an electronic scale in his possession yesterday.

Fred Webb was also served with a Family Court Bench Warrant citing Failure to comply with a child support order.

He remained in custody this morning with the court order and a $2,000 cash or surety bond on the Marijuana charge. A $500 personal recognizance bond was set on the paraphernalia charge.

Striking Child with Piece of Wood

Striking a child with a piece of wood Friday was alleged with an arrest by Clinton Public Safety that afternoon. 65-year-old Ansel Tim Medlin of 100-A Academy Street, Clinton was charged with Unlawful Neglect of a Child.

A warrant states that Medlin had custody of a juvenile child Friday and placed the child at unreasonable risk of harm by striking the child across the front of his legs with a piece of wood. The defendant then allegedly got in the child’s face and began to use profanity toward the child, during the incident at 100 Academy Street. Ansel Tim Medlin remained in custody this morning with a cash or surety bond set at $2,000.

Church Break-In Saturday

A Greenville County man was arrested Saturday following an alleged break-in of a Laurens County church. 24-year-old Kristopher Marx Cass, also known as “Chris,” was booked as Homeless and charged with Burglary 2nd Degree. Deputy Richey states that on February 11th Mr. Cass entered Beulah Baptist Church at 1762 Green Pond Road, Fountain Inn without consent and with intent to commit a crime therein. The warrant showed a previous address on Bruce Street, Simpsonville. With a cash or surety bond set at $5,000, Chris Marx Cass remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Thefts, Drug Possession

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a suspect Friday regarding drug possession then and thefts earlier last week. 30-year-old Joshua Aaron Mizerek of 711 Scott Cross Road, Greenwood is charged with two counts of Petit Larceny as well as Trespassing and Giving False Information to Law Enforcement. He’s also accused of Possession of Less than One Gram of Methamphetamine and Simple Possession of Marijuana.

Warrants state that on February 10th the defendant knowingly possessed less than one gram of methamphetamine, along with 28 grams or less of marijuana. Polson further states that on February 6th Mizerek took two 5-pound boxes of screws and one 32-ounce can of stein, valued at $61.41.

Another warrant states that on February 3rd the defendant took knotty barnside wooden paneling or siding valued at $87.92. Mizerek is further accused of giving false information to law enforcement during a larceny investigation on February 7th.  He’s also accused of Trespassing on February 7th.

Joshua Aaron Mizerek remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning with cash or surety bonds on the six charges were set totaling $6,692.

Two Charged with 12 Counts Contributing to Delinquency

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man and woman just after 4:30 Sunday morning in connection with an alleged event where alcohol was served to minors. Later yesterday, 46-year-old Robert Lance Robertson and 39-year-old Adriana Jannick, both of 961 Ghost Creek Road, Laurens, were each charged with twelve counts of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. Twelve warrants on each state they did knowingly and willfully caused a minor who did not belong to the defendant to be provided with alcohol for consumption. The warrants cite the minor’s ages, which ranged from 15 to 20-years-old.

Mr. Robertson and Ms. Jannick were released later yesterday on personal recognizance bonds totaling $24,000 for each.

2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with Minor

The Sheriff’s Office arrested a young adult Friday on charges from alleged sexual activity with a minor, two years ago. 22-year-old Jason Matthew McJunkins of 125 Pine Road, Greenville was charged with 2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor. Sgt. Carter states that between January 1st and June 15th of 2015 the defendant engaged in sexual battery with a female between the age of 11 and 15-years-old, by insertion of his finger. A $15,000 cash or surety bond was set during arraignment this weekend. Jason Matthew McJunkins remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.

Metal Dog Bowl Used in Assault

The Sheriff’s Office made a domestic violence arrest Saturday following an incident reportedly involving a dog bowl in an assault. 34-year-old Shawn Nicholas Gamble of 8497 Indian Mound Road, Waterloo was charged with Domestic Violence 2nd Degree.

Deputy Adam Galloway states that on February 11th the defendant committed 2nd Degree Domestic Violence by throwing a metal dog bowl at the victim, striking the right side of the victim’s face and bursting her lip. He also allegedly took her phone, preventing her from calling for help. The warrant states that EMS did provide treatment for the injury.

A cash or surety bond was set at $8,000. Shawn Nicholas Gamble is also reportedly being held for an additional charge.

Arrest from Police Chase last June

Laurens City Police charged a Gray Court man Friday with offense from last Spring and Summer. 24-year-old Randy Burnside Jr. of 48 Brandy Lane, Gray Court was charged with Financial Transaction Card Fraud and Failure to Stop for Blue Light.

Detective Joey Pittman states that Burnside fraudulent used a victim’s debit card to obtain $500 in cash on June 23rd, 2016.

Sgt. Jody Thibodeau states that on November 8th, 2016 an incident began at 218 Spring Street and the defendant failed to stop for a blue light from there, across various area streets, then abandoned his car and fled on foot from a parking lot at 800 Spring Street.

Randy Burnside Jr. was released Saturday on cash or surety bonds of $3,500.

Traffic Offenses in April, Domestic Assault in July

Laurens City Police charged a man Friday in connection with a domestic assault in Laurens last summer. 49-year-old Jimmy Anthony Harris Sr. of 631 Bull Hill Road, Gray Court was charged with Domestic Violence 2nd Degree. Officer Amanda Templeton states that on July 5th of 2016 Mr. Harris struck the victim across the face with an open hand twice, causing visible injury. While the victim was on the ground, Harris allegedly put his knee into her chest and grabbed her with both his hands and began to choke her. This allegedly occurred in a Garlington Street apartment.

Harris was also served with four Highway Patrol warrants from traffic offenses last April. Trooper Luke Perry states that on April 26th, 2016 Jimmy Anthony Harris Sr. ran a red light at the intersection of Fleming and Mill Streets, that he gave false information to law enforcement, giving his brother’s name instead of his own. Perry further states that Harris was driving under suspension of his license, and has a previous DUS conviction in the past five years. He’s also charged with Driving an Uninsured vehicle last April.
Jimmy Anthony Harris Sr. was being held with cash or surety bonds of $4,699.

Does Marijuana Give You the Munchies?

Laurens City Police Saturday night arrested Quentin Nicholas Green of Apartment 165 at 218 Spring Street. Officer Sherfield issued tickets charging Mr. Green with Simple Possession of Marijuana, Disorderly Conduct ad Resisting arrest on Spring Street at 9:39 Saturday night. A 4th ticket was issued at 11:50 Saturday night charging Green with Destruction of Evidence after he reportedly ate the marijuana in question at the detention center. The late night snack apparently added another $1,000 to his bond amount. With cash or surety bonds set on the four charges totaling $2,872, Quentin Nicholas Green remained in the Laurens County Detention Center this morning.