Trooper Charged in Second Incident

11:00 AM, Dec 15, 2005   |    comments
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A state trooper being investigated on charges of targeting Hispanic drivers and making them pay to avoid tickets has been arrested on additional charges. Lance Corporal Stephen A Watts of Pelion was charged Tuesday with malicious injury to personal property. According to an arrest warrant, Watts "willfully and maliciously" slashed a motorist's car tire during a traffic stop. Watts also was charged with misconduct in office. He previously had been charged with misconduct in office in connection with another case. Investigators say Watts pulled over a Hispanic motorist and forced the driver to pay as much as $40 to avoid a ticket. The incidents are being investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division. Watts had been with the Highway Patrol since 2000 until he was fired after his November arrest.

Associated Press

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