Charleston County confirms firing of emergency management director

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 3:42 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2021 at 5:14 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County has confirmed it terminated its county emergency management director after he was accused of assaulting a woman.

Jason Patno was arrested on June 24 on charges of kidnapping, first-degree assault and battery and first-degree burglary.

Charleston County said at the time of his arrest that he had been placed on unpaid leave. Patno was terminated just over a week later, on July 2, Charleston County spokesperson Kelsey Barlow said.

The charges stem from an incident in April 2019 when Patno was accused of entering the victim’s home without permission and staying in the home despite being ordered to leave, court affidavits state.

Court records state that when Patno learned that his actions were being recorded, he assaulted the victim by pushing her to the floor and then proceeded to physically confine the victim within the bedroom by pinning her to the floor, preventing her from escaping.

Affidavits also allege that during the course of the confinement, the suspect repeatedly assaulted the victim by using his hands and a belt to strike her.

Patno allegedly forcibly restricted the victim’s breathing by placing his hand over her nose and mouth in an attempt at suffocating her, affidavits state.

A judge set bond at $150,000 on the charges. Jail records indicate Patno has since posted bond and has been released.

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