ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Orangeburg County paid out $205,000 in damages to a man court records state pleaded guilty to not pulling over for police in June 2014.
The payment was made to Quinnton Henderson through an insurance policy the county maintains.
State records show Henderson filed an insurance claim two months later, in August 2014, and this past June, he received a check.
Since that chase, his rap sheet has only grown. He’s been charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, and not pulling over for police again.
That second police chase was all caught on camera last year by the Holly Hill Police Department.
“He was stopped for going left of center." Holly Hill Police Chief Joshua Detter said. “[The officer] asked him to step out of the car and that’s when he took off.... Shortly, after it started, dispatch came back, and said they had warrants for his arrest. So, we continued the chase. It went just over 30 miles.”
According to the chief, at one point, the suspect hit speeds of 100 miles-per-hour. But, it all came to an end when, he says, Henderson’s engine started to smoke.
“I mean we’re rewarding bad behavior. That’s the way I look at it," Detter said. "Now, that I know about this payout and our chase from last year, to me, I think he just ran because, ‘Hey, I’ll get another payout.’ And that’s not right. I mean that’s my tax dollars and your tax dollars. But, they don’t want to take it to a jury trial. The juries in Orangeburg County, I’m told, will never side with the police.”
And for Holly Hill’s police chief, one of six officers in the department, $200,000 goes a long way.
“We’re actually about to end this year’s budget and for the amount of officers I have, I’m just under $200,000 for salaries. So, it’s more than all of us combined," Deter said. "And, obviously, he was chased for something, he pleaded guilty, I believe, but now we’re just gonna give him a couple hundred thousand for what? I don’t understand.”
In addition to the money paid to Henderson, the fund paid more than $56,000 to cover legal expenses.
There’s no trace of a lawsuit, and the state says they don’t have any documents related to this matter.
The Orangeburg County administrator, Harold Young, said he doesn’t have a comment at this time. The Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office and Henderson’s lawyer have not responded to requests.
Neither the county nor the sheriff’s office has explained why a quarter of million dollars was paid out to Henderson.