Body found in car that was on fire
On Jan. 20, firefighters with the City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department were called to a report of an automobile fire near the intersection of Greene and Charles streets in Beaufort.
Firefighters arrived within minutes and found the small passenger car fully engulfed in flames and endangering two adjacent structures. The firefighters were able to quickly douse the flames and extinguish the fire before either structure suffered significant damage. Once the fire was extinguished it was determined that there was a dead person in the car.
In conjunction with the city of Beaufort Police Department, the area was secured and the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fire was started.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division was contacted to assist with the fire investigation. The investigation into this incident is ongoing.
Accident injures one, causes fuel spill, delays
The Burton Fire District responded to a motor vehicle accident on Trask Parkway on Jan. 23 that resulted in one occupant being transported to the hospital and fuel spilling on the roadway, causing traffic delays.
Burton firefighters responded to the two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Trask Parkway and Stuart Point Road just before 5:30 a.m. They found a two-vehicle accident involving pickup trucks, with one pickup lying in a ditch and the other on the roadway. The pickup truck on the roadway was leaking fuel with the injured driver still inside.
Firefighters worked to control the leaking fuel by spraying foam and removed the driver, who was transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The other driver sustained non-life threatening injuries but did not wish to be transported. Approximately 15 gallons of fuel was spilled.
Traffic on Trask Parkway was delayed for approximately one hour while emergency crews controlled the spill and assisted the injured.
U.S. marshals arrest man believed involved in assault
Members of the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force located and arrested 31-year-old Travis Orlando Dawkins on Jan. 25.
The Bluffton Police Department issued an arrest warrant for Dawkins after he allegedly used a knife to cut a female during an argument on Jan. 17 in Bluffton. The victim sustained injuries to her hand and arm during the argument.
Bluffton Police requested the assistance from the U.S. marshals to search and make the arrest of Dawkins, who was located in Okatie. The Bluffton Police Department participates with the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force by assigning two officers to the team.
Dawkins is charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. He is currently being held at the Beaufort County Detention Center.
Man shot in the arm offers little cooperation
Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Beaufort Memorial Hospital at approximately 2:20 a.m. Jan. 24, where medical staff reported a gunshot victim had been dropped off.
The man told deputies he had been shot in the arm while walking on Seaside Road near the Gloria Potts Center on St. Helena Island. The man said the gunshots came from a white Buick with tinted windows, but could not provide any description of the subject that shot him. In addition, he would not provide the name of the person who drove him to the hospital. The man was treated for the gunshot wound and released from Beaufort Memorial Hospital. The incident is still under investigation.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Cpl. Jennifer Snider at 843-255-3421 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CrimeSC to remain anonymous and for possible reward.
Retired trooper assists deputies in arrest
On Jan. 26, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the Dairy Queen on Lady’s Island to a report of two people taking photographs of themselves with handguns inside of the restaurant.
The deputies approached the two men, who were sitting with a female, and ordered them to put their hands on the table.
One of the subjects complied, but the other kept reaching into his waistband. The deputies attempted to physically restrain the non-compliant man, later identified as Stephon Chaplin, 19, but he resisted and continued trying to reach into his waistband, according to a sheriff’s office report.
Chaplin then attempted to pass something under the table to the other man, who ran when a third deputy arrived at the scene.
Still struggling with Chaplin, two of the deputies took him to the floor while the third deputy held back the female associate of Chaplin, who was trying to get involved.
Without hesitation, a bystander who is a retired South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper, stepped in to assist the two deputies in restraining Chaplin. Shortly thereafter, with Chaplin still reaching into his waistband, one of deputies shot him with a taser.
When Chaplin was tased he finally stopped resisting and deputies were able to handcuff him.
When Chaplin was being taken to the floor, the third deputy dealing with Chaplin’s female associate saw a handgun fall. That deputy was able to grab the handgun as the other two deputies got Chaplin under control.
Chaplin was arrested and charged with unlawful carrying of a handgun and resisting arrest. When Chaplin was searched, a small amount of marijuana was found in his jacket for which he was charged additionally with simple possession of marijuana.
As is protocol for people after being tased, Chaplin was examined and medically cleared. He was then transported to the Beaufort County Detention Center.
Chaplin’s bonds set by a Beaufort County Magistrate totaled $25,615 for the three charges. He remains in jail; the man who ran away from the Dairy Queen has not been located.
Man gets 20 years for killing on basketball court
A 19-year-old Beaufort man pleaded guilty Jan. 26 to voluntary manslaughter and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a violent crime in the 2015 shooting death of Matthew Horne at a Beaufort basketball court.
Malik Shakur Stanfield was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Stanfield, then 17, shot and killed 20-year-old Horne while the two were at the Charles Lind Brown Activity Center on Greene Street on April 30, 2015.
Stanfield pleaded guilty following two days of testimony at the Beaufort County Courthouse.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Solicitor Hunter Swanson.
Circuit Court Judge Carmen Mullen handed down the sentence.
Man who shot deputy sentenced to 28 years
Tray Graves, 29, of Lady’s Island was recently sentenced to 28 years in federal prison for shooting a deputy.
On June 17, 2015, Beaufort Couny Sheriff’s Office SWAT members assisted the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in executing a federal search warrant on Graves’ Lady’s Island residence.
As SWAT members cleared the residence and opened a door to a bedroom where Graves was hiding, he opened fire with a handgun. SWAT member Mark Cobb was wounded in the shoulder.
Other SWAT members were able to apprehended Graves, who was charged with federal firearms and illegal drug charges by DEA agents.
Sgt. Mark Cobb has since recovered and resumed his duties with the sheriff’s office as a member of SWAT, Explosive Ordinance Team, Dive Team and K-9 Unit.