MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - Bonneau Police Chief Franco Fuda arrested a 25-year-old man who investigators say attempted to carjack the chief's SUV at a Walmart parking lot in Moncks Corner.
The Moncks Corner Police Department charged Tysheem Lamar Gavin with first-degree assault, aggravated assault and disorderly conduct.
Around 11:55 p.m. on Tuesday, officers responded to the Sunoco gas station on 609 N. Highway 52 for a report of a man trying to get into a woman's car. A 30-year-old woman said she was at the car wash across the street where a man, later identified as Gavin, attempted to get in her truck.
The woman said as she was pulling a floor mat from her truck, she saw a man standing in front of her vehicle. According to the woman, as she got in the truck, the man walked to the passenger side and opened the door.
The woman then told the man to shut the door. According to police, the woman then backed out of the wash bay and took off as the man began chasing her and screaming obscenities at her.
The woman reported the man reached under his shirt a number of times as if he was reaching for a weapon, and said he would "cut her (expletive) throat."
Authorities say when the woman stopped at the Sunoco gas station across the street, the man ran up to the vehicle, beat on the driver's window and cursed at her.
Investigators say the man then ran in the direction of a nearby Walmart. Bonneau Police Chief Franco Fuda, who was at the nearby Walmart, heard the call and responded to the incident, but left after authorities told him the suspect was nowhere to be found.
Fuda then returned to the Walmart.
"So I come into the parking lot...turned out my lights and looked down momentarily," Fuda said."[When] I looked up there was this guy that just appeared out of nowhere, soaking wet with sweat. His eyes were wide...looked crazy."
Fuda said the man then attempted to open the back passenger door of his SUV, during which time Fuda contacted the Moncks Corner Police Department and told them the carjacking suspect was at the Walmart parking lot attempting to break into his vehicle.
"His eyes were huge, it looked like a scene out of a zombie movie," Fuda said. "Policy would dictate that I would just sit still until that jurisdiction gets here."
But according to Fuda, the man began walking towards another car occupied by people. Fuda said he got out of his SUV thinking of the safety of customers in the area and people in the nearby car.
"So I exited my vehicle and unholstered my weapon and the guy was standing there, sure enough focused on those folks," Fuda said. "I challenged him, put him on the ground, handcuffed him and detained him until Moncks Corner got there."
Investigators say a box cutter was found on the suspect, identified as Gavin. According to police, as officers picked the suspect up from the ground, authorities reported Gavin was sweating "profusely" and could smell alcohol on him.
Fuda said he was still in shock when Gavin appeared and said,"You could tell there was no thought process in his head. He was definitely on something."
According to Fuda, the female victim at the car wash is a volunteer firefighter.
"I was kidding with her, 'That's what happens when people on drugs tangle with fire and police,'" Fuda said.