Public safety briefs for November 23rd-29th

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School bus attendant guilty of hitting child

Lillian Jackson
Lillian Jackson

A school bus attendant accused of hitting and punching a special needs student as he rode the bus has been sentenced to three years in prison and 100 hours of community service. 

Lillian Jackson, 64, of Seabrook pleaded guilty to seven counts of second-degree assault and battery at the Beaufort County Courthouse in connection with a series of assaults in February 2015.

Bruising, scratch marks and other injuries were discovered on the non-verbal autistic boy by the child’s mother. 

School bus surveillance video shows Jackson striking the Bluffton Elementary School student in the face with her hand, either with a closed fist or with the back of her hand, on at least seven different occasions as the boy sat in the bus’ front passenger seat, restrained by a five-point harness. She also repeatedly pinched the boy.

“This little boy did not have the ability to say what was happening to him and endured abuse at the hands of someone who was in a position of authority and trust,” Assistant Solicitor Alex Joseph said. 

For a video of the incident, visit www.facebook.com/theislandnews.

Three-vehicle crash delays a.m. commute

Just before 8 a.m. on Nov. 14, the Burton Fire District responded to a report of a three-vehicle accident at the intersection of Parris Island Gateway and Broad River Drive in Port Royal. 

No injuries were reported in the collision; however, traffic on Parris Island Gateway was delayed for approximately 45 minutes while emergency crews assisted the vehicle occupants and removed roadway hazards. 

This intersection is in the town of Port Royal but is protected by the Burton Fire District via an emergency services contract between the district and town. 

The Burton Fire District has now responded to over 300 motor vehicle accidents in 2017. In comparison, during the same time period in 2016, the district had responded to approximately 260 vehicle accidents.

Four accidents result in injuries, building damages

The Burton Fire District responded to four motor vehicle accidents on Nov. 17, resulting in minor injuries and damages to a commercial building. 

The first accident was reported just after 8 a.m. at the intersection of Parris Island Gateway and Grafton Drive. This single-vehicle accident resulted in minor injuries and minor traffic delays for approximately 30 minutes.

The second accident was reported just after 6:30 p.m. at the Dollar General at 548 Parris Island Gateway. Fire crews arrived to find a passenger vehicle that had collided with the Dollar General Building. Damages to the vehicle and building appeared minor, and the driver suffered minor injuries. 

The third accident was reported an hour later just after 7:30 p.m. on Trask Parkway. This single-vehicle accident resulted in no injuries or traffic delays. 

The third accident was reported less than an hour later on Parris Island Gateway after a vehicle reportedly struck a deer. ‘

No injuries were reported and traffic delays were minimal while emergency crews assisted the occupants. 

Don’t fall for phony school solicitation

The Beaufort County School District is alerting local businesses and nonprofits that a company soliciting financial sponsorships on behalf of Hilton Head Island High School is in no way affiliated with the school.

A representative of a company calling itself Boost Sports, based in Fort Worth, Texas, has contacted area business and nonprofits about purchasing sports-related items such as stadium banners and T-shirts.  

Neither Hilton Head Island High School nor any other district school has a relationship with Boost Sports, said schools Superintendent Jeff Moss.

Boost Sports is apparently a new name for Touchdown Sports, which has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau.  

Numerous school districts across the country have issued alerts about this company’s underhanded activities.  

The Beaufort County School District alerted local businesses and chambers of commerce earlier this year that Touchdown Sports was fraudulently soliciting sponsorships on behalf of Bluffton High School.

Operation nets arrests, drugs and firearms 

Cassandra Green
Cassandra Green
Joseph Walters
Joseph Walters

A multi-agency investigation that spanned over several years into the distribution of illegal drugs including cocaine, crack cocaine and opiates, culminated in the arrests of 14 people on federal and state charges and the service of search warrants at multiple locations throughout Beaufort and surrounding counties and states. 

Law enforcement agencies involved in the operation were the Beaufort County, Jasper County and Hampton County sheriff’s offices, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the South Carolina Highway Patrol. During the search warrant a variety of illegal drugs, firearms and vehicles were recovered, most of which will accompany the federal cases.   

As a result of some of the illegal drugs found during the search warrants, SC criminal laws were violated and two subjects were charged locally by Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office investigators: Cassandra Green, 54, and Joseph Walters, 61. 

Green was arrested at her Christopher Drive, Hilton Head Island residence and charged with simple possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine. 

Walters was arrested at his Gumtree Road, Hilton Head Island residence and charged with three counts of sale and distribution of crack cocaine, three counts of sale and distribution of crack cocaine within ½ mile of a school, one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within ½ mile of a school.

The investigation is ongoing.     

Wildboys gang member gets 20 years in prison 

Devin Brown
Devin Brown

A member of the Wildboys gang was sentenced to 20 years in prison in federal court in Charleston after being found guilty by a federal jury for his role in the attempted murder of a rival gang member.

Devin Brown, aka “Deno Badazz,” 23, of Green Pond, was sentenced to 240 months in prison, including a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence by U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Gergel, to be served consecutively, for use of a firearm during a violent crime. In addition, Brown must serve five years of supervised release and pay the cost of the victim’s medical care.   

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Tameaka A. Legette of the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which includes Beaufort County, as well as trial attorney Leshia Lee-Dixon of the U.S. Justice Department Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section. 

Brown was a member of the Wildboys, a violent street gang from the Green Pond area of Walterboro. At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that showed that beginning as early as 2012, Brown and other Wildboys gang members engaged in racketeering activity, including the April 7, 2015, attempted murder of a rival gang member in a drive-by shooting involving assault-type firearms. An innocent bystander inside a home was shot and injured, the evidence showed.

Four individuals have previously pleaded guilty to their involvement in the Wildboys gang. In June 2017, U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel of the District of South Carolina sentenced Wildboys members and associates Kelvin Mitchell, Damien Robinson and Brian Manigo for their roles in gang-related racketeering activities. In August 2017, Wildboys member Joshua Manigault, aka “J-Rizzle,” was sentenced for his role in gang-related activities.