Driver remains behind bars after 'Smokey and the Bandit' chase

Witness: Police chase reminded him of 'Smokey and the Bandit'
Authorities on the scene of the chase. (Source: Live 5 News)
Authorities on the scene of the chase. (Source: Live 5 News)

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A witness to Wednesday's police chase that went through North Charleston and West Ashley says it reminded him of the movie "Smokey and the Bandit."

The police officers who chased stolen car suspect Richard Droze put their lives on the line, trying to keep up with Droze and at the same time, trying to avoid hitting any innocent drivers. In the video it appears Droze has no regard for anyone's safety as he weaves in and out of traffic trying to outrun the cops.

Timothy Grainger, known as "Timbo the Peanut Man" watched as the cops and the suspect zipped by his peanut stand on Highway 61.

"I've got a front row seat. I feel the wind off of them and I was calm and I didn't get out of this thing, like a NASCAR race," Grainger said Friday.

Hanahan Police Lt. Michael Fowler has been involved in several high speed chases during his career.

Fowler's officers were not involved in Wednesday' pursuit.

"Short of deadly force situation, there is no more stressful situation than a police officer goes through than a pursuit," Fowler said.

The dashcam video from a North Charleston officer's cruiser shows what Fowler is talking about.

It shows the suspect almost running over an officer who was trying to put stop sticks on the highway.

We looked at the pursuit policies for Charleston County's three largest police departments.

According to The Charleston Police Department, North Charleston Police Department and Charleston County Sheriff's Office, chases should be called off if the risk of danger outweighs the need to arrest the suspect.

"If at any point it gets to where the safety of the general public is in jeopardy, then fine, we'll fight another day," Fowler said.

Richard Droze remains in the Charleston County Jail under $495,000 bond.

Droze is facing several charges including four counts of attempted murder, failing to stop for blue lights and possession of methamphetamine.

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