Suspect in fire department SUV theft pleads guilty to unrelated assault

Suspect in fire department SUV theft pleads guilty to unrelated assault
The man accused of stealing a Charleston Fire Department SUV plead guilty Tuesday afternoon to an unrelated assault charge. (Source: Live 5 News)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The man accused of stealing a Charleston Fire Department SUV plead guilty Tuesday afternoon to an unrelated assault charge.

Appearing in Berkeley County magistrates court, David Lathan Jr. admitted to assaulting his sister’s former fiancé at their home last month.

Lathan was given a 30 day sentence.

The victim, Brian Wellenc says on Jan. 31, Lathan kicked his then fiancée and then hit him in the head with a metal chair.

“We were so scared. I’ve never looked into the eyes of just this deranged madman,” Wellenc said after court.

For much of the court proceeding, Lathan talked to himself or smiled.

“Guilty,” Lathan said to the judge.

“It seems like he’s really reaching for it,” added Lathan, referring to the victim.

After court, we asked Wellenc for his reaction to Lathan’s arrest for stealing the fire department SUV.

“He’s an idiot. I wasn’t surprised by it. He’s capable of anything,” Wellenc said. “He put thousands of lives in danger with the chase. I just don’t understand that. If he gets out, he’s gonna kill somebody.”

Lathan is being held in the Berkeley County Jail on $100,000 bond on charges stemming from Sunday’s chase.

He’s yet to be officially charged by Charleston police for stealing the fire department SUV from a station on Folly Road.

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