Bond set at $100,000 for man charged with stealing Charleston Fire SUV, leading police on chase

Man charged with stealing Charleston Fire SUV, leading law enforcement on chase

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Bond has been set at $100,000 for a man who authorities say stole a Charleston Fire SUV and led law enforcement on a chase on Sunday.

David Lee Lathan, 33, is charged with failure to stop for blue lights and receiving stolen goods over $10,000 in connection with the theft of an SUV from the Charleston Fire Department, according to Berkeley County Sheriff’s spokesperson Carli Drayton.

According to authorities, Lathan also tested positive for drugs after he was arrested, according to newly-released information from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.

During a Monday night bond hearing, Lathan said God had given him “the ability to speak to things” and the SUV he stole gave him permission to steal it.

RAW VIDEO: Police units chase Charleston Fire vehicle in North Charleston (Source: Steven Surface)

The Charleston Fire Department SUV was reported stolen at about 10 a.m. on Sunday morning from Fire Station 13 on Folly Road. The SUV was left unlocked with the keys inside of the ignition and the bay doors were open, the incident report states.

The vehicle, which was equipped with GPS tracking, was located a short time later in Goose Creek, deputies say.

Goose Creek officers attempted to stop the vehicle but the vehicle did not stop and Berkeley County deputies intercepted at Crowfield Boulevard and St. James Avenue and took over as the primary unit during the pursuit, Drayton said.

The vehicle then traveled onto US Highway 52 in the direction of North Charleston.

City of North Charleston Police, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office attempted to use stop sticks and other tire deflation systems several times during the pursuit in an attempt to safely stop the vehicle and most were effective. The vehicle came to a stop at the intersection of King Street and Morrison Drive.

Lathan got out of the vehicle on command and was taken into custody without further incident, Drayton said.

The City of Charleston took possession of their vehicle on scene.

Berkeley County deputies transported Lathan to Trident Hospital for a mental health check, Drayton said. The staff was familiar with him and advised that he was not a mental patient but a Meth user, a release from the sheriff’s office. A blood and urine sample from Lathan tested positive for Methamphetamine, Drayton said.

A Goose Creek police officer initially discovered the vehicle at the Colonial Village apartment complex, according to an incident report. As the vehicle passed Cosgrove Avenue, the officer stated he heard Lathan say he was going to James Island unless somebody killed him. He also wrote in the report that Lathan made statements over the radio about the devil having power over the radio waves, according to the report.

RAW VIDEO: Charleston Fire vehicle leads police on low-speed chase (Source: Tammy Turner)

At time of vehicle theft, suspect was out on bond for alleged Berkeley Co. assault

Deputies say Lathan was out on bond for a separate case at the time the fire department vehicle was stolen.

An incident report states deputies responded to a house in the 200 block of Pou Court in Moncks Corner around 12:20 p.m. on Jan. 31.

Two victims inside the house stated that David Lee Lathan, 33, had assaulted them inside the house just 20 minutes prior, according to the incident report. One victim claimed that he heard the other screaming for help and came out of a room inside the house to find Lathan kicking the victim, the report stated.

According to the report, deputies then spoke with Lathan who told them that his sister had committed murder and his sister got into a verbal altercation, the report stated. Lathan admitted to the assault and claimed the other victim tried to intervene and he hit the second victim over the head with a metal chair, the report stated.

The report stated Lathan told her to tell President Donald Trump and the media that a deputy was murdered by his sister instead of worrying that the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office was going to arrest him.

The deputy wrote that he saw minor injuries to one victim’s forehead and redness on the other victim’s neck.

Latham was cited for the assault, the report stated.

Deputies also responded to the house on Jan. 22 around 8 p.m. when one of the same victims told them that Lathan pushed her into a refrigerator and a stove, the report stated.

VIDEO: Charleston Fire SUV chase suspect tested positive for meth, deputies say
David Lee Lathan (Source: Berkeley County Sheriff's Office)
David Lee Lathan (Source: Berkeley County Sheriff's Office)

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