Report: SC man drove car with 4 kids in trunk during Christmas parade

William Trey Benton (Source: Lancaster Co. Sheriff's Office)
William Trey Benton (Source: Lancaster Co. Sheriff's Office)

LANCASTER COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - A Lancaster man was arrested Saturday evening after police say he drove a car with a stolen license plate with four children in the trunk at the Lancaster Christmas parade.

William Trey Benton, 33, of Lancaster, is charged with child endangerment, possession of stolen property, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and driving under suspension, according to a news release from the Lancaster Police Department.

Police responded to White Street around 7:50 p.m. in reference to a stolen vehicle license.

They noticed Benton driving a red Ford Crown Victoria in and out of parking spaces along the street. The license plate did not match the one assigned to the vehicle, according to the report.

Benton walked over to police when they pulled him over and said the car belonged to his grandfather and he was simply moving it for him while the parade was going on.

Benton was placed under arrest when dispatchers confirmed that the tag was stolen.

While officers were arresting Benton, the trunk to the Crown Victoria popped open and four children hopped out, the youngest being 11 years old.

On Monday, Police officials said it appears that at least two of the children are Benton's children. Officers aren't clear if the other two children are related or just close friends.

"They were in the trunk for 'Transport Purposes' only," officials said. "No foul play there, just extremely poor judgment."

Benton was taken to jail for processing. The Department of Social Services is reviewing the case.

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