MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A 32-year-old man who reportedly led authorities on a pursuit in a stolen vehicle with the victim's dog still inside was arrested Wednesday evening.
Mt. Pleasant police responded to reports of a vehicle theft around 6:15 p.m. in front of Pizza Hut on Highway 17N. The victim said he went inside the business to pick up a pizza, and when he turned around he noticed his car was gone.
The victim told officers he left his car running while he went inside because his dog was in the car.
An incident report states the stolen vehicle was spotted by an officer driving at a high speed and failing to stay in its lane on Rifle Range Road. Mt. Pleasant police attempted a traffic stop, but the suspect, later identified as Eric Wayne Humphries, did not stop, resulting in a pursuit.
The pursuit reportedly continued onto Highway 17N and onto Guerins Bridge Road, where Mt. Pleasant police had to pull back.
According to a supplemental report, Berkeley County deputies later made contact with Humphries and the stolen vehicle on Iron Creek Road.
Deputies say Humphries wrecked the vehicle in the area of Forestry Road in the Francis Marion Forest, and was arrested after attempting to get away on foot.
Officials say shots were fired by Berkeley County deputies during the incident, but Humphries was not hit by the gunfire. SLED officials say they have been requested to investigate the shots fired.
Officials say the victim's dog was found in a crate in the back of the wrecked vehicle with blood on its rear legs and several large wounds on its side. The victim and his dog were transported to an emergency vet due to the dog's injuries.
Rip, a 3-year-old Lab, suffered a gunshot wound during the incident, according to the veterinarian who treated his injuries. Rip still has bullet fragments lodged inside him, the vet said.
The two deputies who fired their guns are on paid leave while SLED investigates.
Humphries has been charged with grand larceny, cruelty to animals, reckless driving, DUS more than first, failure to stop for blue lights, and habitual offender. He is being held at the Charleston County Detention Center.
Humphries arrest record, obtained by Live 5 News through SLED, details an extensive list of run-ins with the law dating back to October 2001. His rap sheet shows over two dozen arrest charges, including a January 2013 arrest for felony burglary second degree, grand larceny, and theft of a controlled substance after police found over $40,000 worth of stolen pills in a Moncks Corner home.