NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 28-year-old Columbia man led North Charleston police officers on an intense foot chase early Sunday morning in which the suspect jumped two fences and leapt from the second floor of a motel before being tased and arrested.
David Branch, 28, of Berryhill Road in Columbia, is being held at the Charleston County Detention Center on charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana within a half mile of a school and unlawful carrying of a handgun.
The incident began around 2:15 a.m. Sunday when a woman flagged down a police officer patrolling near Motel 6 on Ashley Phosphate Road. The woman told the officer that her boyfriend took her keys and was leaving the property in a white Mazda. She pointed at the car as exited the parking lot.
The police officer initiated a traffic stop and the driver, later identified as Branch, got out of the car and fled on foot. Police say Branch ran through the parking lot of the Kobe Steak House and then jumped a fence into the Motel 6 parking lot.
An additional officer arrived and gave chase until the suspect jumped another fence into the parking lot of the Inn Town Suites Hotel. The suspect then ran up to the second floor of the hotel and jumped from the second floor to the ground.
Branch was chased until officers tased him and placed him under arrest. Once the suspect was handcuffed, police searched the car and discovered a 9 mm handgun under the front driver's seat. The handgun had one round in the chamber and 16 rounds in the magazine.
Officers also found a large amount of marijuana inside a white plastic bag in the trunk. The substance was weighed and totaled 254.8 grams of marijuana.
The suspect was bleeding from the mouth due to a busted lip. EMS responded to the scene and treated the suspect. Branch was then transported to the Charleston County Detention Center to await bond hearing.