Bond set for man accused of shutting down Ravenel Bridge Friday night

Suspect in Friday night's Ravenel Bridge incident caused bridge closure 2 years ago
Phillip DeClemente (Source: CCDC)
Phillip DeClemente (Source: CCDC)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Authorities say the man who caused police to shut down the Ravenel Bridge Friday night following an attempted traffic stop was also responsible for the bridge's closure nearly two years ago to the day.

On Sunday afternoon, 40-year-old Phillip DeClemente's bond was set at a combined total of $50,470.

DeClemente was ordered to have a mental health evaluation within the next 10 days.

According to court documents, the victim told police DeClemente arrived at his home Friday night after sending 8 text messages that said "I'm going to find you and take care of you."

The victim also told Charleston police, Declemente was in the driveway acting aggressively and shouting offensive comments. The victim told investigators he is concerned for his safety and the well-being of his family.

Charleston police say DeClemente was arrested Friday night and charged with failure to stop for blue lights and making threat towards others.

Police say DeClemente did not stop after officers attempted to pull him over Friday night due to reports of the driver making threats to people, and officers did not chase him. The suspect later called Charleston Consolidated Dispatch around 11 p.m. to tell police he was on the Ravenel Bridge.

The bridge was shut down for roughly an hour as officials responded to the scene, and DeClemente was taken into custody.

DeClemtente was also involved in a situation that resulted in the four hour closure of Ravenel Bridge on Feb 2, 2012.

In that incident, Charleston police say DeClemente drove a white SUV onto the bridge with messages painted on it that said "Stay Away," "Back," "Happy Now" and "Game Over." Authorities say they received a phone call from family members saying DeClemente was planning to hurt himself on the bridge.

After a long standoff with authorities, DeClemente began driving the SUV towards the end of the bridge and into a wall. As the suicidal man began to open the door of the SUV, police moved in and took him into custody.

DeClemente was taken to MUSC for evaluation, and later cited for reckless driving in that incident.

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