SC NAACP President Charged After Incident at Cleaners

10:33 PM, Jul 16, 2013   |    comments
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Lonnie Randolph

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina NAACP President Dr. Lonnie Randolph Jr. has been charged with trespassing after warning, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after an incident at a Columbia dry cleaners.

The situation took place on July 12th around 7 p.m. at Tripp's Cleaners in Columbia's Five Points.

According to a Columbia Police Department incident report, they were called to the cleaners after an employee said that Randolph refused to pay his bill and didn't want to leave the store.

The report says the responding officer asked Randolph if he had the money to pay, and he didn't reply.

The officers and Randolph then walked out of the store, and the officer said he told Randolph that he was trespassing, and if he came back, he would be arrested. The report says the officer asked Randolph if he understood, to which Randolph replied "no I don't understand." The officer also reported Randolph refused to leave the location.

The officer then grabbed Randolph by the arm and reached for his handcuffs; the report says Randolph then "jerked away." The report goes on to say that the officer took Randolph to the ground. Another officer then helped put the handcuffs on Randolph, and they walked him to the police car.

At this point, the report says Randolph stiffened as officers tried to place him in the vehicle. One of the officers "delivered two knee strikes" to Randolph and "one closed hand strike to the chest." The other officer then pushed Randolph into the vehicle.

According to the report, the officer asked Randolph if he needed treatment because he had blood on his lip, and Randolph responded "no."

Interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago and City Manager Teresa Wilson were notified, and Wilson showed up at the scene. WLTX spoke with the city manager late Tuesday night, and said that it is her responsibility to respond to an incident if she deemed the incident necessary.  

Eventually, Randolph was taken to Palmetto Health for treatment. The report states Randolph was field booked and released "per Chief Santiago."

Randolph's attorney, Joe McCulloch, said Randolph is currently at a convention in Orlando, Florida.  He also added that a court date is set for Wednesday and he will be asking the court to postpone the court date for sometime in the future. 

McCullough said he has spoken to both Columbia Police department and Tripp's Cleaners about how this issue has a "medical related origin."



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