Arrest takes wild U-turn into river

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What started as a simple shoplifting arrest took several weird twists and turns, ending up in the Beaufort River and resulting in injuries to two law enforcement officers.

Aridegbe Adeyemi

It all started when Aridegbe Adeyemi, 37, of St. Helena Island was arrested June 19 by the Port Royal Police Department after allegedly shoplifting at the Citgo gas station on Ribaut Road, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report.

Following his arrest and while on the way to the Beaufort County Detention Center, Adeyemi appeared to become unconscious. The Port Royal officer, Sgt. Kevin Heany, immediately drove to Beaufort Memorial Hospital to get the suspect medical attention.

When they got to the hospital, Heany went to get a stretcher, and while he was gone, Adeyemi got up, ran toward the back of the hospital complex and into the Beaufort River, the report said.

Heany ran after him, and when he caught up, they struggled while Sheriff’s Office Emergency Dispatch summoned back-up units in the area to help.

A Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit, which was nearby in its boat, immediately responded to assist  Heany. They arrived within minutes and saw Heany and Adeyemi struggling in a few feet of water, the report states.

One of the two marine patrol unit deputies jumped out of the boat to assist Heany as Adeyemi “continued to struggle and was trying to get into deeper water to avoid be recaptured,” according to the report.

The struggle ended up in an oyster bed, where Heany and a marine patrol unit deputy were cut multiple times by the sharp oyster shells.

“Although he was still attempting to struggle, they were able to bring Adeyemi somewhat under control,” the report states.

Additional back-up from the Beaufort Police Department, Sheriff’s Office and Beaufort Fire Department arrived on the scene and assisted in getting Adeyemi out of the water and into the Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit boat.

Adeyemi was taken to shore and examined at the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Emergency Room.

It was discovered through a local records check that Adeyemi had five active Beaufort City Municipal Court bench warrants for his arrest, the report states.

Adeyemi was released from the hospital a short time later and was transported to the Detention Center, where he is currently being held.

He is charged with shoplifting, fleeing to evade arrest and resisting arrest. He was also served with the five outstanding bench warrants.

The Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol deputy and Heany were treated and released at Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

“We would like to recognize Sgt. Heany of the Port Royal Police Department, Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Units Cpls. Ricobene and King, along with the other responding personnel involved in re-capturing Adeyemi,” the report states. “The resolve, courage and teamwork they demonstrated in ensuring this dangerous subject did not escape and pose a further threat to the public was extraordinary. Job well done!”