COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - A nationally known expert on police chases said that the Charleston County sheriff's deputies took too many risks during a high speed chase last month.
University of South Carolina criminal justice professor Geoff Alpert said deputies were not justified driving at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour during the Jan. 30 chase with 31-year-old Timothy McManus.
During the chase, Sheriff Al Cannon and deputies shot out the tires on McManus' truck after the suspect refused to stop for blue lights. It turned out McManus was driving with a suspended license.
"You would think the guy they're chasing is a terrorist, you'd think the guy they're chasing shot a police officer," Alpert said.
"One hundred miles an hour on any road is very dangerous, but in this kind of traffic it's ridiculous," Alpert said from his office in Columbia. "You don't fire weapons at a car like that, you don't drive over 100 miles an hour trying to get there, you don't have a caravan of police cars."
It's what deputies did to the suspect at the end of the chase that really bothered Alpert.
"You don't start hitting him when he's not resisting. You don't have a dog bite him," the professor said. "If all the suspect was wanted for was reckless driving, everything was done wrong."
Alpert said deputies did one thing right.
"Well, they apprehended someone who was fleeing the police and that was a good outcome, but at what price?" Alpert said.
McManus is still being held in the Charleston County Detention Center.