Suspect tells judge he was 'doing a lot of drugs'

James Deese and Christopher Coward
James Deese and Christopher Coward

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Bond was set at $35,000 Monday for a man accused of using his car to ram down a gate at the Coast Guard station in downtown Charleston.

The Charleston Police Department charged Christopher Coward of Belton with possession of a stolen handgun, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and failure to stop for a blue light.

"All I can say is I was doing a lot of drugs and was in a wrong state of mind. I can't remember anything that happened," Coward told the judge at his bond hearing Monday morning.

James Deese, 20, of Johnston, was charged with possession of a stolen handgun. Bond was set at $15,000 for Deese.

It all started early Sunday morning, when officers attempted to stop a suspected stolen car driven by Coward, authorities say.

According to investigators, the suspect's vehicle did not stop and led officers on a police pursuit. At one point a supervisor canceled the traffic stop and officers complied.

Moments later, the Coast Guard notified police that Coward's vehicle had rammed through their security gate in downtown Charleston and were on the Coast Guard base.

Police then found both of the suspects hiding under a dock on the base. Both men were locked up at the Charleston County jail. The suspects' vehicle was reported stolen from Lexington County.

Both men also are facing a federal charge for crashing through the Coast Guard station gate.

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