Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Richland County deputies have arrested another 15-year-old suspect in connection to a series of what the sheriff calls racially motivated robberies and kidnappings in the Midlands.
Officers announced Friday morning that they'd taken a third suspect into custody. Deputies had already said 17-year-old Raquan Green and another 15-year-old were involved in the crimes.
The 15-year-olds are not being identified yet because they are juveniles. If they are eventually charged as an adult, however, that could change.
Deputies say the crimes took place this month in the area surrounding Williams Brice Stadium.
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In a news conference to announce the arrests on Thursday, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said the crime spree, which escalated from robberies to kidnappings to a near sexual assault, spanned from Stadium Suites to The Village, and would have continued to escalate had the suspects not been arrested.
Lott said the suspects told their victims they targeted them because they were white, reportedly telling them they hated white people and were only going to rob white people.
One of the victims was a young woman who's being identified by officers as "Jordan." She spoke publicly Thursday, describing her ordeal when the suspects kidnapped her as she was leaving work at a restaurant.
She said the suspects forced her at gunpoint to drive to an ATM. She said they'd indicated they also planned to rape her, but she was able to put the car in neutral and jump out of it while it was still moving. She then ran back to the ATM, where a woman helped her to call 9-1-1.
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Sheriff Lott praised her quick-thinking for helping to save her that night.
The suspects are also accused of robbing a delivery drivers and others in the area.