Child Abuse Awareness Event Scheduled for Tomorrow in Seneca

Child Abuse Awareness Event

(Walhalla, SC)——————————A Child Abuse Awareness Event is scheduled for tomorrow evening in Seneca at the Gignilliat Community Center at 621 North Townville Street in Seneca.
This event coincides with National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is recognized in April. Several groups, organizations and vendors including the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, will be there.
The event is free to the public from 6pm until 11pm.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Offers Tips to Avoid Being Victims of Crime

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)—————————————With the weather warming up and more people attending events and parties, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office would like to provide tips to help individuals not to become victims of a crime.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to provide these tips in the wake of the arrest yesterday of 19 year old Stokes Avinger Brownlee of St. George, South Carolina on one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct – First Degree in an incident that was reported last weekend.

The Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips:

• In remote locations and after dark, stay in groups of two or more with individuals known to you and remain in well-lit areas.
• If under the age of 21, avoid alcohol and if over the age of 21, avoid overconsumption of alcohol.
• Avoid all types of illegal drug use.
• If a patron to parties or night life establishments, remain vigilant of your surroundings and of those in close proximity to you.
• If you observe criminal activity, after leaving the area, call your local law enforcement and report what you have seen immediately. The sooner law enforcement agencies are contacted, the quicker an investigation can begin and evidence and witness statements gathered. Always remember, IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.
• Trust your instincts and use common sense. If something does not feel right, it is time to remove yourself from the situation.

“The Sheriff’s Office wants to convey a very important point and that is a victim of a crime is not at fault for that crime and the perpetrator is the one at fault,” says Captain Greg Reed of the Criminal Investigations Division. “In the case of sexual assault, for example, the victim goes through a lot of emotion and many cases go unreported or sometimes the victim declines cooperation. Law Enforcement is here to investigate all crimes reported to see if there is enough evidence to bring charges and to be an advocate for the victim.”

“We encourage victims to come forward and the sooner that can happen, the quicker we can begin the process of gathering evidence that is fresh and untainted and conduct interviews while recollections can be fresh in people’s minds,” continues Captain Reed. “No one has the right to force another individual to engage in any act or do anything against anyone in the commission of a crime, including engaging in a sexual act against one’s own free will.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Saint George Man on Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges

Stokes Avinger Brownlee

Stokes Avinger Brownlee

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Saint George, SC man earlier today on Criminal Sexual Conduct – First Degree charges.

19 year old Stokes Avinger Brownlee of Fairway Court was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:48pm.

On the evening of April 16th, a deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division was dispatched to the Clemson Police Department in regards to a reported sexual assault case that happened inside the jurisdiction of Oconee County.

The deputy met with the victim and began an investigation, which was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division.

As the investigation continued and evidence was gathered and interviews conducted, it was determined that Brownlee had sexually assaulted the victim at an address on Dubose Circle near Seneca.

Stokes remains in custody at the Oconee County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man on Two Shoplifting Charges

Amy Elizabeth Moore

Amy Elizabeth Moore

Joshua Douglas Burns

Joshua Douglas Burns

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man yesterday evening on two outstanding shoplifting warrants.

38 year old Joshua Douglas Burns of Owens Road was booked into the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office around 8:42pm by a deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division.

The Sheriff’s Office issued press releases on March 31st and April 13th seeking the public’s help in solving two separate shoplifting cases that occurred at the Seneca Walmart location. The Sheriff’s Office believed that a white male that deputies were seeking the public’s help in identifying was involved in both cases.

As the investigation continued and progressed, warrants were obtained against Burns charging him with stealing multiple computers from the store on March 13th and one computer from the store on April 5th. The total combined value of the computers taken in both cases is around $2,196.76.

A second individual, a white female, was also arrested today in regards to the April 5th shoplifting.

34 year old Amy Elizabeth Moore of Broadway Street in Newry, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:23am on a charge of shoplifting.

Burns was released from the Detention Center this morning on a combined $5,000 personal recognizance bond. Moore was also released from the Detention Center today on a $2,500 personal recognizance bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks the Public’s Help in Solving Recent Shoplifting at the Seneca Lowe’s

Person of Interest - Lowe's (1)

Person of Interest - Lowe's (2)

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in regards to an early April shoplifting that occurred at the Seneca Lowe’s location.

The Sheriff’s Office is also seeking the public’s help in identifying a male in relation to the shoplifting.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to the store location at BI-LO Place during the morning hours of April 5th. A store employee told the deputy that a white male shoplifted items from the store just after 8am that date.

The total sum of the items taken is around $727.00 and consists of 2 box sets of yellow and black in color Dewalt 20 volt drill and impact driver kits and one box set of yellow and black in color Dewalt 12 volt drill and impact driver kit.

The individual the Sheriff’s Office is trying to identify in relation to the incident is described as a being in his late teens to early 20’s, with brown hair, a slender build, of average height and was wearing a hooded zip-up sweatshirt, gray shorts, white shoes and a hat.

Upon exiting the store, the man got into a white older model Volvo of a box style shape with a paper tag. The vehicle left the parking lot and turned north onto Highway 123. A BOLO was issued for the individual and the vehicle.

If you have any information on this April 5th shoplifting from the Lowe’s in Seneca that occurred around 8am or the identity of the individual in relation to the shoplifting, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP. You don’t have to give your name when you contact Crime Stoppers and all information given is confidential. If your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Recognizes Citizen Who Assisted Deputy with Recent Call

Shea Doonan and Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Shea Doonan and Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Shea Doonan Award

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–Yesterday, during the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office quarterly Promotions Ceremony, the Sheriff’s Office recognized a citizen who assisted a deputy with a call during the month of March.

During the afternoon hours of March 10th, a deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to a call for service on Queens Park Loop near Seneca in regards to a subject presenting a firearm in the parking lot of the Pier Apartments.

The deputy observed the subject when he arrived on scene holding a firearm in his hand. The deputy told the subject to drop the weapon but the subject fled. The deputy continued to advise the subject to drop the weapon on several occasions. The subject attempted to turn around but then fell and the weapon flew from his hands.

As the deputy placed the subject under arrest and was trying to place handcuffs on the subject, the subject continued to resist. While this was occurring, a local resident by the name of Shea Doonan came to the aid of the deputy. Due to that fact, the deputy was able to secure the subject, later identified as 23 year old Bradley Stephens Krall of Mount Pleasant, SC, who appeared to be unstable.

The firearm, which was fully loaded, was secured and Mr. Doonan assisted the officer until a second deputy arrived on the scene.

“Our vision statement at the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is Building Partnerships to Promote a Safer Community,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “There is no greater partnership for law enforcement than the relationship that the Sheriff’s Office has with our citizens and on behalf of the men and women of law enforcement in Oconee County, we are grateful to Shea for assisting our deputy as he (Shea) put himself at risk in detaining this subject who presented a legitimate threat of harm to all those around him.”

Krall was booked into the Detention Center the same day and was charged with Public Disorderly Conduct, Pointing and Presenting a Firearm at a Person and Resisting Arrest. He was released on March 12th. He was given a combined $15,000 surety bond on the Resisting Arrest and the firearms charge and a $262.50 personal recognizance bond on the Public Disorderly Conduct charge.

The following officers were recognized yesterday for their promotions:

Criminal Investigations Division

• Nina McKee promoted from Corporal to Sergeant as an Investigator. Sergeant McKee is a former Uniform Patrol Deputy and School Resource Officer
• Barry Owens promoted from Corporal to Sergeant as an Investigator. Sergeant Owens is a former Uniform Patrol Deputy.

Special Operations

• Deputy Brandon Meadows promoted to Corporal. Corporal Meadows is the Environmental Service Officer and a former full-time Uniform Patrol Deputy.

Uniform Patrol

• Corporal Jonathan Head promoted from Master Patrol Deputy to Corporal on Charlie Shift.
• Uniform Patrol Deputy Clay Sheriff promoted to Master Patrol Deputy on Charlie Shift.

Statement from Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw Regarding Sunday Afternoon Disturbance at the Oconee County Detention Center

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

(Walhalla, SC)————————————– “After reviewing the facts and video this morning concerning the incident in our Detention Center yesterday afternoon, I have requested SLED to conduct an independent investigation. I am making this request simply to prevent any potential conflict of interest since correctional officers are employees of the Sheriff’s Office. I believe our correctional officers acted appropriately which has been documented through the detention system video. I foresee criminal charges potentially being filed with the victim’s being my employees which I think should be investigated by an outside agency.”

“Once SLED has completed their investigation, the 10th Circuit Solicitor’s Office will review the case file and make any recommendations to SLED concerning criminal charges. I have no problem releasing the video concerning this incident with approval of the investigating agency (SLED) as well as the Solicitor’s Office if criminal charges are filed.”

“While the case remains an active investigation, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office will not be releasing any further information at this time.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Seneca Man on Grand Larceny Charges

Joe Sansosti

Joe Sansosti

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man yesterday on Grand Larceny charges.

46 year old Joe Sansosti of Windrush Lane was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 11:02am.

A deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division responded to the Windrush Lane address and met with the victim. The victim stated that Sansosti was renting the victim’s lake home for the last two years. The victim checked on Sansosti’s status after not receiving the rent payment in March.

When the victim arrived at the house, the house was mostly empty but the house was fully furnished when it was rented to Sansosti. Some of the items missing were located elsewhere in the house but other items, with a value of around $5,220.00 were not located.

As the investigation continued, it was determined that Sansosti did remove the items.

Sansosti was released from the Detention Center yesterday on a $15,000 personal recognizance bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Two Oconee Men for Sex Offender Registry Violations

Jon Ricky Feltman, Jr.

Jon Ricky Feltman, Jr.

Sam Miller

Sam Miller

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)————————————–Within the last few days, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two men, one from West Union and the other from Westminster, on sex offender registry violation charges.

52 year old Jon Ricky Feltman, Jr. of Lynn Drive and 69 year old Sam Miller of Dana Drive, were booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 10:10am Friday and 10:13am today respectively. Both were booked in by a deputy from the Warrants Division.

Both Feltman, Jr. and Miller were, as part of their sentence of being convicted of a crime that rendered them as Sex Offender’s, required to register quarterly with the Sheriff’s Office as part of those sentencing guidelines. Both subjects were required to register with the Sex Offender Registrar, Sergeant Kelly Winchester, during the month of March 2016 but both failed to do so.

Feltman, Jr and Miller also acknowledged by signature that they were required to register again in March and every quarter on the State of South Carolina Sex Offender Registration Offender Information Form.

Feltman, Jr. and Miller were charged in separate incidents. Feltman, Jr. was originally convicted of Lewd Act upon a Child in 1997. Miller was originally convicted of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse with a victim under the age of 13 in the state of Illinois in 2013.

According to warrants, Miller also has a prior conviction for failure to register as a sex offender.

Feltman, Jr. was released from the Detention Center on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond last Friday. As of 12:15pm today, Miller remains in custody at the Detention Center on a $10,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office to Host Two Pill Take Back Days in April

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting two Pill Take Back Days in the month of April.

The first will be held on Saturday, April 23rd from 10am until 2pm in the parking lot of Seneca High School on Wells Highway as part of the Hazardous Household Waste Collection Day.

The second will be held on Saturday, April 30th from 10am until 2pm in Walhalla at the Law Enforcement Center at 300 South Church Street as part of the National Pill Take Back Day.

Citizens can bring their old or no longer used medications or vitamins to the drop off sites to have them disposed of properly.

“These take back days will make it possible for us to collect and safely dispose of these medications to prevent them from getting into the hands of our children or prevent them from damaging the environment by being disposed in the wrong places,” according to Lt. Jeremy Chapman of the Special Operations Division of the Sheriff’s Office.

“In order to keep our incinerator in good working order, we are also asking those who bring the medications to our collection areas to bring them in the marked prescription bottle open the bottles and dump them into the container. After that, our citizens can recycle the prescription bottles themselves,” continues Lt. Chapman.

Last year, the Sheriff’s Office collected approximately 910 pounds of pill and liquid prescription medication.