SLED conducting inquiry into incident with Dorchester Co. coroner; dash cam video released

VIDEO: SLED conducting inquiry into Summerville incident involving Dorchester Co. coroner
Published: Aug. 25, 2015 at 8:03 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2015 at 11:45 PM EDT
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Still of dash camera video. (Source: Summerville PD)
Still of dash camera video. (Source: Summerville PD)

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - The State Law Enforcement Division has been asked by the Summerville Police Department to investigate an incident involving Dorchester County Coroner Chris Nisbet.

SLED is conducting a preliminary inquiry to determine whether an investigation is warranted, according to the agency's spokesman, Thom Berry.

On Tuesday afternoon, officials with the Summerville Police Department released dash camera video footage of the incident.

Police responded to a "civil disturbance" at 12:42 a.m. Tuesday, according to an incident report.

Authorities say they arrived on the scene near Doty Park and found Nisbet on a street arguing with a second man. Nisbet had drawn a gun but it was pointed at the ground, the report states.

The incident appears to have begun with an attempted vehicle repossession minutes earlier.

The report states the repo driver attempted to tow away a 2009 Chevy Silverado that belonged to the man with whom Nisbet was seen arguing. The repo driver told police he went to the man's door and told him he was there to repossess the vehicle, at which point the repo driver said the man pointed a gun at him and said, "You can leave now or die." The repo driver said he left the man's yard and contacted Summerville police.

Nisbet told police he was pulling into his driveway when he saw a tow truck pull into the man's yard. He said he saw the owner of the truck walk up to the repo driver and point something at the driver, which Nisbet told police he believed was a gun.

He said the driver then got into his tow truck and left, the report states. Nisbet said he approached the repo driver and asked what had happened. As the two talked, they say the owner of the truck left his home, got into his truck and attempted to leave the scene.

The tow truck driver and his girlfriend, who was in the tow truck during the incident, said the owner of the truck stopped alongside their vehicle and threatened to shoot them if they followed him.

Nisbet told police he got back into his truck, activated his blue lights and went after the truck owner, pulling in front of him to block his path in front of Doty Park. Nisbet said he pulled his weapon and demanded the truck owner stop the vehicle, adding he pulled his weapon because he did not know whether the man was armed. Police arrived after Nisbet had exited his vehicle and approached the driver, the report states.

Nisbet continued to hold his weapon, not complying with multiple verbal commands he was being given, the report states. Police say after about 15 seconds, Nisbet complied and placed his firearm on the ground and backed away from it. One of the officers reported smelling the odor of alcohol coming from Nisbet's person, the report states.

The truck owner told police the only thing in his hand was his cell phone, which he dropped as he got out of the vehicle because Nisbet was pointing a gun at him.

The truck owner admitted to owning two guns but said neither was with him, the report states. Authorities searched his vehicle and found no sign of a weapon.

They also searched an area along the road where Nisbet, the repo driver and his girlfriend claimed to have seen the driver throw something from the vehicle, but police could find no sign of anything, the report states.

The owner of the truck was transported home by officers and the repo truck driver took possession of the vehicle.

No arrests were made in the incident.

There is no word from SLED on how long the preliminary inquiry will take.

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