Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Concludes Law Enforcement Officers Appreciation Week Activities

2015 Peace Officers Week – County Council Proclamation

Back of Blood Drive T-Shirt

Blood Conection Vehicle

Chief Davis Read County Council Proclamation

County Council Proclamation

Front of Blood Drive T-Shirt

Sheriff Crenshaw and Chief Deputy Davis (2)

Sheriff Crenshaw and Chief Deputy Davis (3)



Training Room

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————-The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office concluded Law Enforcement Officers Appreciation Week activities late last week.

Last Thursday, around 50 guests attended the Sheriff’s Office held a Retirees’ Appreciation Luncheon. After a time of food and fellowship, Sheriff Mike Crenshaw made a few comments to those attending. Chief Deputy Kevin Davis then read a proclamation from Oconee County Council in recognition of Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Also last Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office held their annual Bill Schuck Memorial Blood Drive, in which The Blood Connection collected 43 pints of blood. As of Monday morning, around $934 had been collected through the selling of commemorative t-shirts. The money raised will go toward the Schuck Memorial Scholarship fund.

On Friday, flags were flown at half-staff at the Sheriff’s Office and at government office buildings around the United States in observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day, which is recognized annually on May 15th.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

(Walhalla, SC)———————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is reminding motorists and motorcyclists to “share the road” during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in order to help prevent motorcycle crashes, deaths and injuries in Oconee County.

“Motorcyclists will be on the roads as the weather gets warmer, which is why May is the perfect month for Motorcycle Safety Awareness,” said Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “Every summer we see more motorcycle riders on our highways . We all need to be more aware of motorcyclists in order to save lives.”

In 2013, 4,668 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes, a decrease from 2012 (4,986). Those deaths account for 14 percent of the total highway fatalities that year, despite motorcycle registrations representing only 3 percent of all vehicles in the U.S. in 2013.

Helmet usage remained the same from 2012 to 2013 at 60 percent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 1,630 lives were saved in 2013 because of proper helmet usage, but another 715 lives could have been saved if helmets had been worn.

Sheriff Crenshaw offered tips to drivers on how to prevent a crash with a motorcycle:
• Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the road as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
• Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
• If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
• Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
• Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
• Never drive distracted or impaired.
Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these steps:
• Wear a state Department of Transportation-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
• Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
• Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
• Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
• Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
• Never ride distracted or impaired.
“By following basic safety rules, we can all help prevent crashes,” Crenshaw said. “Our message is for all drivers and riders: Share the responsibility of keeping our roads safe — always share the road.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Man on CDV, Kidnapping Charges

Kenneth Lamar Wilson

Kenneth Lamar Wilson

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster man yesterday afternoon on two arrest warrants charging him with Criminal Domestic Violence – High and Aggravated and Kidnapping.

48 year old Kenneth Lamar Wilson of Louise Wilson Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 12:43pm by a deputy from the Warrants Division.

A deputy met with the victim, Wilson’s wife, at the Sheriff’s Office this past Monday morning regarding an incident that occurred the previous day in which the victim stated that Wilson cussed and yelled at her, pulled her out of her car by grabbing her by the hair and threw her to the ground. Wilson then reportedly punched the victim in the face, used his knees to pin her shoulder to the ground, banged her head off the ground several times and put his hands around her neck and choked her. Wilson, according to warrants, also made threats to kill the victim.

Wilson then reportedly dragged the victim into the residence where her phone and car keys were taken away. The victim was able to convince Wilson to eventually let her leave.

As a result of the investigation, warrants were obtained against Wilson on Monday.

Wilson is still being held at the Detention Center on a $50,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public’s Help Regarding Recent Seneca Grand Larceny

Stolen Sea Doo's

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help regarding a recent Grand Larceny that took place in the Seneca area.

A deputy with the Uniform Patrol Division responded to an address on Martin Creek Road on May 10th in regards to two Seadoo’s that had been stolen. Investigators believe that the Seadoo’s had been stolen sometime between Friday afternoon, May 8th and Saturday afternoon, May 9th.

The Seadoo’s had a purple covering over them and were reportedly on an aluminum trailer that was also taken as well.

Both Seadoo’s are 2001 model RXDI with a yellow top and black bottom. The combined value of the two Seadoos is around $7,500.

If you have any information concerning this Grand Larceny, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 864-638-STOP, 1-888-CRIME-SC or text in your tip to 274637. You don’t have to give your name and if you tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.

United Way of Oconee County Announces Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program

Senior Famers Market

(Walhalla, SC)—————————-The United Way of Oconee County has announced the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
The program allows qualifying seniors’ to receive coupons to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from authorized farmers this summer.
To qualify, you must be 60 years of age or older with a low income, provide proof of identity with a driver’s license or photo i.d. and proof of citizenship in Oconee County.
You must apply in person between 9am and 3pm on June 2nd, June 3rd or June 4th at the United Way offices in downtown Seneca.

Peace Officers Memorial Service Scheduled for Tonight in Anderson

(Walhalla, SC)—————————–A Peace Officers Memorial Services is scheduled for tonight in Anderson at 6pm at the Anderson County Courthouse.
A blue light motorcade will leave Anderson Mall and arrive at the Courthouse in time for the ceremony to begin.
The ceremony is sponsored by the Anderson Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 10 and the keynote speaker will be Andy Bolt, who is an Anderson County native who served with the National Guard with Afghan Forces training their police force. He was awarded the Bronze Star.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Conducts “Operation Family Friendly” This Past Weekend at Fall Creek Access

William Antonio Bautista

William Antonio Bautista

Sheriff's Badge
By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————This past weekend, deputies with the Uniform Patrol Division of the Sheriff’s Office patrolled on foot and in their vehicles for “Operation Family Friendly” at Fall Creek Landing Access in the Salem area at Lake Keowee.

The deputies not only met many of the individuals and families who were there as part of the Sheriff’s Office continued community policing efforts, but, deputies also wrote 20 citations while on patrol and made one arrest.

3 citations each were written for littering and drug violations and 14 citations were written for having an open alcohol container in a county park or recreation area. The individual arrested by deputies was 22 year old William Antonio Bautista of North Franklin Road in Greenville on charges of Possession of Marijuana – Less than 28 grams.

“The Sheriff’s Office believes strongly in community policing as one of the best ways to build trust with those we serve,” according to Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “I always encourage our deputies to personally meet as many people as they can face to face and I commend the deputies who were involved for their work to build those relationships.”

“As we get closer to Memorial Day and then between that time and Labor Day, our Marine Unit and deputies will be patrolling in their vehicles, on foot and in the water in the parks and on the lakes around the county and if we see any violations take place, we will not hesitate to issue citations and make arrests if necessary for offenses we see,” says Sheriff Crenshaw. “We had several families who thanked us for our patrol’s this weekend. We want to do everything we can to make our parks safe for people to enjoy this summer in Oconee County.”

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Two This Week on School Bus Interference Charges

Roger McLane Stephens

Roger McLane Stephens

Dennis Patrick Washer

Dennis Patrick Washer

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two individuals this week on charges of interfering with the operations of a school bus.

The first incident was reported to the Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, April 30th, when a deputy from the Uniform Patrol Division arrived at Seneca High School to speak with the School Resource Officer about an incident that occurred the previous day.

A school bus was stopped at the intersection of Shiloh Road and Gloria Lane in Seneca around 7am on April 29th. An individual talked to the bus driver and told her not to let any of the students on the bus to pick on his child. The driver informed the individual that they wouldn’t. The individual then made threats to harm those on the bus if his child was picked on.

Warrants were obtained as a result of the investigation on 44 year old Roger McLane Stephens of Gloria Lane. He was arrested on Wednesday of this week and booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 8:07am. Stephens was released the same day on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond.

The second incident occurred this morning as dispatcher’s received two phone calls this morning after 8am concerning an individual driving a silver vehicle that got out and stopped a school bus and reportedly was hitting the bus and beating on the windows near the intersection of Highway 123 and Sheep Farm Road in Seneca.

The bus continued on down Sheep Farm Road, however, the driver made a U-Turn a little further down Highway 123 and appeared to be chasing the bus down again on Sheep Farm Road. The bus then turned onto Bountyland Road. Officers were able to stop the vehicle in question near the Hamilton Career Center on Keowee School Road.

The driver of the silver vehicle, 61 year old Dennis Patrick Washer of East Ashton Street in Seneca, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:23am this morning. He was given a Uniform Traffic Ticket on the school bus charges and also booked on a Temporary Custody Order as further charges are pending in the case.

“The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office will not tolerate anyone who interferes with the day-to-day operations of bus driver’s and students getting to and from school or who makes threats or attempts to put them in danger in any way,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “If we are notified that someone is putting our children in danger by their actions, we will investigate and bring charges if those allegations are proven true and make arrests of those responsible.”

“I commend the actions of the bus driver’s in both situations for doing everything within their power to keep the student’s on their buses safe,” continues Sheriff Crenshaw. “They do a great job every day and the Sheriff’s Office certainly thanks them for their help and cooperation in both situations.”

Statement from Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

“Earlier today, an upstate media outlet posted a story on their website indicating that the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office would “shut down their offices” on Monday in order to “celebrate” the upcoming Confederate Memorial Day observance on Monday, May 11th. The story was later changed, and although I thank this outlet for changing the story, I felt like a statement was in order considering what was originally written.

“As he has done over the past two plus years as the Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer, Jimmy Watt has issued an e-mail to the members of the media alerting them to the fact that Oconee County offices will be closed due to 12 County approved holidays. He has also alerted the media that he would be off as well and when he would return and also when he would be off for vacation days as a courtesy to them in our continued efforts for transparency in keeping the public informed about news and activities at the Sheriff’s Office.”

“In his e-mail to the media, P.I.O. Watt indicated that “Oconee County offices” will be closed but did not indicate that the Sheriff’s Office will be closed. He also asked that the e-mail be passed along to “management, news directors, reporters, anchors and assignment editors or anyone else that may need to know” to keep the media posted on when he would be off.

“This e-mail was not intended for public consumption, but as a way to help the Sheriff’s Office better serve the media and therefore, the public. Also, the story as it was originally posted, gave the impression that the Sheriff’s Office would be completely shut down on Monday. Administrative offices will be closed on that day; however, the Sheriff’s Office will be conducting its normal road patrol and investigative operations as we have always done during this holiday and all the ones before and after. Also, I will be working on Monday and the media is more than welcome to send any requests to me directly.”

“The article also said that unless it was a “major” incident, that employees of the Sheriff’s Office would be off next Monday. P.I.O. Watt has always indicated to the media that unless an incident is deemed a “major” incident during weekends and holidays that we would fulfill requests for incident reports and warrants during the next full business day. These points were included in the rewritten story on this website.”

“Once again, I thank the outlet for making changes to their story but I am disappointed that something that was not intended public consumption ended up being a story and on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, I apologize for any confusion in this matter.”

Georgia Woman Wanted by Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrested in Habersham County

Eulalia Miguel

Eulalia Miguel

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————A Baldwin, Georgia woman wanted on charges of filing a false police report was arrested by officers in Habersham County, Georgia.

The Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant against 21 year old Eulalia Miguel. She had been charged with Filing a False Police Report of a Felony Violation.

On April 27th, Miguel made allegations to the Sheriff’s Office that an individual had robbed her of $2,500. As the investigation continued, warrants were obtained against Orin Jerel Simpson Kemp after positive identification was made on April 29th. At that time, the Sheriff’s Office continued their investigation into the case.

As that investigation continued, evidence came to light that cleared Kemp of the strong armed robbery charge and that warrant was recalled.

According to the arrest warrant, Miguel is accused of filing a false police report stating that she was the victim of the strong armed robbery while knowing the allegations were false.