KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WLTX) - Kershaw County deputies were unusually busy for a Christmas Day on Monday, according to Kershaw County sheriff Jim Matthews.
Cortez J. Whitener, 18, of Jenkinsville, is charged with failure to stop for a blue light, resisting arrest, possession of a stolen vehicle, malicious injury to real property, hit and run with property damage, driving under suspension and providing false information to police.
Shortly after 1 a.m. on Christmas Day, a Kershaw County deputy was patrolling on US-1 in Lugoff when he observed 3 vehicles, two of which were later confirmed as being stolen, traveling together at high rate of speed, according to the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office.
When the deputy attempted to stop one of the cars, the driver of the Camaro fled, according to deputies. Investigators say the car later wrecked in Elgin, where the two occupants of the car were located following a search by the KCSO bloodhound team and a SLED helicopter.
While this was unfolding, another deputy observed and chased a second vehicle speeding on US-1 toward Camden, deputies say. The stolen silver SUV, which was confirmed to have been strolen out of Richland County, crashed into a Camden Police Department vehicle responding to the chase as it entered Camden city limits, according to investigators. Deputies day the SUV then headed back into Lugoff, where Kershaw deputies continued their pursuit.
As they continued their pursuit of stolen SUV up Highway 34 into Fairfield County, deputies say the occupants began throwing items out of the vehicle in an effort to damage pursuing patrol cars. Deputies say speed had reached more than 100 miles an hour as the chase entered Winnsboro, where Fairfield County deputies joined the pursuit.
Deputies say the stolen SUV eventually pulled into an apartment complex, where three black males got out and fled on foot before the SUV continued to flee with deputies close behind. Deputies say the driver of the SUV, identified as Cortez Whitener, then struck a Kershaw County patrol car, causing minor damage.
A short time later, deputies say Whitener drove the SUV off the road and fled on foot. A foot pursuit followed. Whitener was eventually taken into custody after a Kershaw County deputy deployed his Taser.
Following his arrest, deputies say Whitener provided deputies with a false name and date of birth indicating that he was only 16-years-old. DMV records proved otherwise investigators say Whitener was detained as an adult. Whitener was transported to the Kershaw County Detention Center where he remains pending a bond hearing. He has no previous arrest record, according to deputies.
“Christmas morning, normally a quiet time, kept KCSO deputies extremely busy this year,” said Kershaw County sheriff Jim Matthews. "Three young men were taken into custody without anyone getting hurt. Job well done, and for that I am very appreciative.”
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