Police blotter for October 27th-November 2nd

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Armed robber holds up Parker’s in Bluffton

The Bluffton Police Department Criminal Investigations Division is investigating an armed robbery that occurred at about 12:30 a.m. Oct. 20 at the Parker’s gas station on Jennifer Court off May River Road.

Detectives say a man whose face was covered with a shirt walked into the business, pointed a gun at the cashier and demanded money.

The man, who is believed to be Hispanic, got away with an undisclosed amount of cash and cigars. He was seen leaving the building and running toward Buck Island Road.

If you have information relating to this crime, call Det. Baker Odom at 843-540-5019 or the Investigations Tip Line at 843-706-4560.

Suspects arrested in two robberies

Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report on Oct. 17 of an armed robbery involving two victims off of Shanklin Road in Burton.

The victims told deputies that they were held up at gunpoint by two African- American men, who got away in a car driven by a female.

While deputies were taking the report, another armed robbery was reported off of Joe Frazier Road involving two victims, and again, two suspects and a female getaway car driver.

Mobile telephones, wallets and other personal items were stolen in both incidents.

A short time later, an investigator responding to the scene saw a vehicle matching the description that was provided by the victims of both robberies and pulled the car over near the Burton Wells Dog Park.

Inside the vehicle were two African-American males and a female driver.  Victims from the two robberies were brought to the scene of the traffic stop and identified all three as the subjects involved.

Maliek Bostick, 20, Zajhun James, 19, and the driver, Sharrin D. Reed, 20, were arrested and charged with two counts of robbery while armed with a deadly weapon. Additional criminal charges are anticipated.

A handgun and various property belonging to the victims of the two robberies were recovered during a search of the car, according to a sheriff’s office report.

The three suspects were transported to the Beaufort County Detention Center.

Man barricades himself in Bluffton house

A 45-year-old man barricaded himself in a home at 60 Heritage Lakes Drive in Bluffton on Oct. 13, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report.

The suspect, identified as Rocco Torsiello, was armed with a handgun.

A family member said Torsiello pointed the gun at her and made statements that he wanted to harm himself.

When deputies arrived there was limited dialogue with Torsiello, who was alone in the residence and refused to come out. Attempts overnight to get him to come out were unsuccessful and he remained inside.

A warrant for Torsiello’s arrest for pointing and presenting a firearm was obtained by Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office investigators.

Deputies remained in Heritage Lakes watching his residence and waiting for him to surface. SWAT members entered Torsiello’s residence that evening and, after a short struggle, took him into custody.

None of the SWAT members were injured as result of the struggle, but Torsiello sustained a minor injury.

He was transported to a medical facility for an evaluation by a physician and was arrested on the warrant.

Man shot in hand while driving on St. Helena

A man reported that he was shot in the hand while driving at about 10 p.m. Oct. 16 on Edding White Road on St. Helena Island.

The victim said when a vehicle passed him going in the opposite direction that an occupant of the vehicle shot at him.

The victim and his vehicle were struck by what appeared to be bird shot from a shotgun.

He was treated at Beaufort Memorial Hospital and later transferred to the Medical University of South Carolina as the wound caused extensive damage to his hand.

When interviewed, the victim was unable to provide a vehicle or subject description to deputies and investigators.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Sgt. Andrew Rice at 843-255-3429 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CrimeSC to remain anonymous and for possible reward. The victim is expected to recover.

Sheriff’s office seeks public help on cold case

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help on a cold case.

On Oct. 23, 1991, April Vlk, 37, was reported missing from her Sea Side Villas apartment on Hilton Head by her father. He said he had last seen her on Sept. 17, 1991.

According to a sheriff’s office report, on the date of her disappearance there was a verbal disagreement during which her boyfriend told her to leave the apartment.

Witnesses at a local church said that a female matching Vlk’s description stopped there and asked for cardboard to write a hitchhiking sign. According to witnesses, the female wrote “Washington D.C.” on the cardboard and said she was leaving Hilton Head.

The barefoot woman, believed to be Vlk, was given $20 to buy shoes at Walmart and then left the church. Vlk has not been seen or heard from since.

It is not known whether or not she successfully hitchhiked away from Hilton Head or she met with foul play. Vlk’s DNA profile is stored in the National Missing Persons DNA database.

No matter how insignificant it may seem, any information offered in reference to a cold case could prove to be the missing link needed to solve the case.

If you have any information regarding this case, contact Capt. Bob Bromage at 843-255-3402, 843-816-8013 or robertb@bcgov.net. To remain anonymous and collect a possible reward, call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CrimeSC.

Six people hurt in two Burton wrecks

The Burton Fire District responded to two motor vehicle accidents recently resulting in six people being transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

The first accident was reported in front of the CPM bank on Trask Parkway and involved a passenger vehicle and a school bus.

The school bus was unoccupied, however the female driver of the passenger vehicle and her child were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The child was properly restrained in a car seat.

The second accident was in front of Parker’s gas station on Savannah Highway and involved three vehicles. Two adult males from one vehicle, and an adult female and her child from a second were transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries. The child was properly restrained in a car seat.

The Burton Fire District has responded to over 234 motor vehicle accidents so far in 2016. Burton fire officials stress the importance of properly restraining children in car seats and appropriate seat restraints.

Burton firefighters handle two tragedies

The Burton Fire District had back-to-back double tragedies recently, handling a major motor vehicle accident with multiple critical patients and a house fire.

Burton firefighters responded to a report of a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Laurel Bay and Shanklin roads involving a Toyota Tundra and a Honda SUV. Burton fire crews, who are also emergency medical technicians, arrived to find heavily damaged vehicles and multiple injured patients.

Three teenage occupants in the Honda SUV, who appeared to not be wearing seatbelts, were transported with what appeared to be critical injuries. The adult male driver of the Honda SUV, who was wearing a seatbelt, was also transported with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries.

Laurel Bay Road was closed for over 45 minutes while emergency crews assisted the injured and removed roadway hazards.

Less than an hour later, Burton fire crews were dispatched to a report of a house fire in the 200 block of Bruce K. Smalls Road. They arrived and reported heavy fire coming from a single-story residence. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire in the unoccupied residence. Crews from the Laurel Bay accident also responded to this house fire.

No injuries were reported at the fire which is under investigation by the Beaufort County Fire Scene Investigation Team.