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

William Zachariah Poole

William Zachariah Poole

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Seneca man today on Grand Larceny charges in relation to a June incident that occurred at Oconee Medical Center.

24 year old William Zachariah Poole of 309 Brady Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 1:36pm after turning himself into deputies. At the time of the larceny, Poole worked as a security guard at Oconee Medical Center.

A deputy responded to the hospital on June 26th in regards to a larceny of cash. The complainant, a hospital employee, stated that a patient lost $2900 in $100 dollar bills when he was admitted to the hospital as a friend was taking his belongings out of his vehicle and the money fell to the ground.

A good Samaritan found the money and turned it in to the security office where it was placed in a safe until someone could come and claim the money. It was later discovered that the money was missing.

The Criminal Investigations Division of the Sheriff’s Office began an investigation and the hospital began a series of interviews with employees who had access to the safe. As the investigation continued, it was determined that Poole had taken the money out of the safe on June 20th. The incident was first reported to the Sheriff’s Office back on June 26th.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Two on Unlawful Neglect of a Child Charges; Others Charged with Same Offense over the Weekend

Christopher Warren Vissage

Christopher Warren Vissage

Eva Karey Hudson

Eva Karey Hudson

Lisa Renee Reynolds

Lisa Renee Reynolds

Steven A.Broach

Steven A.Broach

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————Two individuals, a West Union man and a Walhalla woman, who were wanted on outstanding warrants, turned themselves into deputies this morning at the Oconee County Law Enforcement Center.

35 year old Eva Karey Hudson of 247 Marvs Drive and 40 year old Christopher Warren Vissage of 2135 Pickens Highway were booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 9:33am. Hudson is charged with two counts of Unlawful Neglect of a Child while Vissage is charged with one count of the same charge.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office was notified on June 26th by the Department of Social Services that the children of Hudson and Vissage had tested positive for methamphetamine. The case was then turned over to the Sheriff’s Office.

Warrants obtained by the Sheriff’s Office against Hudson and Vissage charge them with exposing their eight year old child to methamphetamine, which was discovered during a drug panel screening. Hudson is also charged in the second warrant with exposing her newborn child to methamphetamine by a drug panel screening. The incidents occurred at the Pickens Highway address. Hudson and Vissage were the father and mother of both children, according to investigators.

Both children were placed into protective custody by DSS. Hudson and Vissage both remain at the Detention Center after a bond hearing this morning in which both received a $20,000 surety bond.

Over the Labor Day weekend, two additional Oconee County residents were also arrested on Unlawful Neglect of a Child charges.

40 year old Steven A. Broach and 41 year old Lisa Renee Reynolds, both of 14 Padgett Street, were booked into the Oconee County Detention Center this past Sunday at 12:57pm and last Friday at 6:15pm respectively.

On July 9th, a deputy with the Sheriff’s Office spoke to an employee of the Department of Social Services regarding a teenager who tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana during a drug panel screening. According to the incident report, the teen was also taught how to make meth by the parents, Broach and Reynolds. The incident occurred at the Padgett Street address.

The teen was placed with a family member. Both Reynolds and Broach have been released from the Oconee County Detention Center.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Walhalla Man on Multiple Charges

Matthew Vinson Leopard

Matthew Vinson Leopard

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Walhalla man, who was wanted on several charges in Anderson County, near Seneca yesterday afternoon.

36 year old Matthew Vinson Leopard of 842 Robinhood Drive in Walhalla was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 6:24pm. The incident report lists Leopard’s address as 110 D Street in Anderson.

Deputies with the warrants division and the narcotics division of the Sheriff’s Office were notified via a tip that Leopard could be showing up at a business near Seneca yesterday. Leopard arrived at a business location on North Radio Station Road around 2pm and was taken into custody by deputies.

Leopard told the deputies that he had a gun and drugs in his vehicle, a red Chevy Blazer, and gave consent to search. A quantity of methamphetamine and marijuana was found in the vehicle as well as a handgun under the front seat. The pistol reportedly came back stolen when checked.

Leopard was placed under arrest and booked into the Detention Center on a Temporary Custody Order until warrants could be obtained, which they were this morning. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office warrants charge Leopard with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol. Leopard was also issued two traffic tickets on charges of Driving Under Suspension and Simple Possession of Marijuana.

Leopard remains at the Oconee County Detention Center after a bond hearing this morning. Leopard’s total surety bond amount is $26,272.50 on all the Oconee County charges. A hold has been placed on Leopard by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office as well as by the department of Probation, Parole, and Pardons, according to the Detention Center.

The total amount of methamphetamine discovered by deputies was 3.5 grams, which has a street value of $350.00.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests North Carolina Man After Pursuit

Eric Joseph Fontaine

Eric Joseph Fontaine

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a North Carolina man earlier this morning on three charges after a pursuit that began in Oconee County and concluded on the campus of Clemson University.

21 year old Eric Joseph Fontaine of 142 River Cane Drive in Fletcher, NC was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 4:45am.

Around 3:45am today, a deputy on routine patrol traveling along Highway 123 towards Seneca observed a motorcycle, a 2009 gray in color Triumph with a North Carolina tag, traveling at a high rate of speed in the opposite direction on the by-pass towards Clemson. After turning around at the intersection of Highway 123 at Carson Road, the deputy made contact with the motorcycle on Highway 93 and initiated his blue lights near the Oconee/Pickens county line.

Due to the fact that the pursuit began in Oconee County and because of mutual aid agreements, the deputy pursued the motorcycle into Pickens County and onto the Clemson University campus. The pursuit continued on Highway 93 to Perimeter Road to Cherry Road. The suspect then lost control of the motorcycle and almost dropped the bike at the intersection of Cherry Road at McAlister Road.

The deputy at that point exited his vehicle as the driver, Fontaine, attempted to pick up the bike and continue on but the motorcycle stalled out. The deputy was able to apprehend Fontaine and placed him under arrest.

Clemson University Police arrived on the scene to assist the Oconee County Sheriff’s deputy. A search incident to arrest began, which produced drug paraphernalia and a clear plastic bag, which Fontaine said contained marijuana, in a back pack.

Fontaine was then transported to the Oconee County Detention Center and was charged with Reckless Driving, Failure to Stop, and Simple Possession of Marijuana.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests West Union Man on Multiple Charges After Pursuit

Brandon Kyle Stancil

Brandon Kyle Stancil

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a West Union man yesterday morning on multiple charges after a pursuit when the subject failed to pull over for blue lights.

22 year old Brandon Kyle Stancil of 305 Rose Drive was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:57am on charges of Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Failure to Stop for a Blue Light, and Driving under Suspension. The Walhalla Police Department has charges against Stancil for Petit Larceny.

Deputies in West Union observed a 2000 Red Ford Focus that did not have any tail lights working. A deputy initiated his blue lights after passing the Ingles in West Union but the vehicle did not pull over. The area of the pursuit covered Anderson Street to Linhart Road to West Union Road to Old Walhalla Highway.

As the pursuit continued on Old Walhalla Highway, Stancil started hitting the brakes of the vehicle, attempting to cause an accident. The last time he applied his brakes, he went off the road and the deputy hit the rear end of the Focus, which caused minor damage. The chase ended a short distance down the road as the driver spun out on the left side of the road.

The pursuit ended on Old Walhalla Highway near East Halfway Branch Road. Stancil was then placed under arrest and transported to the Oconee County Detention Center.

The Focus was reported stolen by the owner to the Walhalla Police Department. Stancil also had a prior conviction for Failure to Stop for a Blue Light.

Stancil is currently being held at the Oconee County Detention Center on a combined $30,652.50 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Woman on Child Neglect Charges

Bridgette Delanea McCall

Bridgette Delanea McCall

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster woman yesterday on Unlawful Neglect of a Child charges.

36 year old Bridgette Delanea McCall of 1906 Clearmont Road was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 6:16pm.

According to the warrant, McCall is accused of exposing the victim, her one year old child, to methamphetamine. The warrant states that the victim tested positive during a drug panel screening and the incident occurred at a residence on Goat Road in Seneca.

The investigation began on July 9th when a deputy of the Sheriff’s Office spoke with an employee of the Department of Social Services. The child was removed from McCall and was placed with family members.

McCall also had an outstanding Seneca municipal court bench warrant at the time of her arrest.

McCall is currently being held at the Detention Center on a $10,000 surety bond on the child neglect charge.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Georgia Man on Six Outstanding 2005 Warrants

Gregory Wendell Rutledge

Gregory Wendell Rutledge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Georgia man yesterday on six outstanding warrants from 2005, three of which were arrests warrants and three of which were outstanding bench warrants.

53 year old Gregory Wendell Rutledge, who address according to the Oconee County Detention Center is 1097 Old Federal Road in Chatsworth, GA, was booked into the jail around 1:29pm.

Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office traveled to Chattanooga, TN to pick up Rutledge from the Hamilton County jail. According to a deputy from the warrants division, Rutledge was involved in a motorcycle wreck in the state of Georgia last week and was airlifted to Chattanooga to received medical treatment for his injuries. When Rutledge was released from the hospital there, he was taken to jail there to await pickup.

According to warrants, Rutledge is charged with Pointing or Presenting a Firearm, 1st Degree Burglary, and Larceny in relation to an incident that occurred in August of 2005 at an address on Wolfers Hollow in Walhalla.

Rutledge is accused of pointing a handgun at an individual, breaking into a dwelling at that location “while entering, inside, or upon immediate flight from was armed with a deadly weapon,” and stealing items, including a firearm and a compound bow. The value of the items taken was around $1,100.

Rutledge also had three outstanding magistrates’ bench warrants from 2005, one from May 18th for disorderly conduct, and two from August 31st, one for an open container and one for no proof of insurance.

In 2005, Rutledge had a home address listed on warrants in Seneca.

As of this morning, Rutledge was being held this morning at the Oconee County Detention Center on a combined $60,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Arrests Westminster Man on Two Outstanding Warrants

Andrew Casere Fant

Andrew Casere Fant

Fant Case - Picture One

Fant Case - Picture Two

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Westminster man yesterday on two outstanding warrants, one of which was for a drug charge.

44 year old Andrew Casere Fant of 557 Deborah’s Way, was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center around 7:38am.

Back on August 12th, a deputy responded to the Deborah’s Way address in regards to a witness who noticed several marijuana plants in a pot at the residence and then later observed Fant dispose of the plants in an area off the property. The pot the plants were growing in and the plants themselves were later discovered by the deputy.

As the investigation continued, warrants charging Fant with manufacturing a quantity of marijuana were obtained by the Sheriff’s Office.

Yesterday morning, a deputy with the warrants division went to the Deborah’s Way address, where Fant was placed into custody on the drug warrant as well as on a magistrate’s bench warrant from November 12th, 2013 charging him with driving under suspension.

Fant is still being held this morning at the Oconee County Detention Center on a $5,000 surety bond.

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Warns of New Scam

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a scam that involves someone calling on behalf of court trying to bilk residents out of money.

Yesterday, the Sheriff’s Office was notified by a senior citizen from the Westminster area who said that an individual called claiming to be from court. The caller stated that the gentlemen was being levied a fine for not appearing for jury duty. The gentlemen told the caller that he had not received anything in the mail that he was to appear for jury duty.

The caller then told this gentleman that if he purchased a green dot card and put money on the card and send it in, that the fines would be forgiven. The caller said he would be back in touch to make arrangements to receive the money. After being questioned by the gentlemen and saying he was going to visit the judge, the gentlemen hung up on the caller. According to the deputy, the caller appeared to be local.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking individuals to be aware of such scams and not to send any money or provide any personal information. Residents who are asked to be on jury duty will be sent a letter in the mail or in some cases; a law enforcement officer will bring the letter to the individual’s home.

Anyone who is a target of this scam is asked to call the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office if they live in the unincorporated areas of Oconee County or their local law enforcement agency if they live in a municipality.

Support Group for Families Dealing with Drug Addiction Available in Oconee County

Sheriff's Badge

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)———————————The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office would like to make residents aware of a local support group in the county for families and parents dealing with a child or loved one who is struggling with drug addiction.

Ashley Williams, who is director of Ash Tree Recovery Center, tells the Sheriff’s Office that on the 1st Monday Night of each month that such a support meets in Walhalla at the administration offices of Christ Central Ministries at 205 South John Street.

According to Williams, after a time of fellowship and prayer, an overview and information about a particular drug or substance is discussed, with information on the effects of that substance and the issues that an addicted person may be facing. Testimonies are provided by those who were addicted and by families members who have dealt with addictions of loved ones. As Williams puts it, everyone can learn from another’s process of dealing with addiction.

Williams also points out that counseling is not provided at the meetings but those who organize and lead the meetings can help those addicted and their families to find professional counseling.

Right now, the support groups meets only one time a month but if there is an increase in attendance, Williams said that more meetings may be organized each month to meet the need.

For more information or to find out how to join this support group, you can contact Ashley Williams at 864-873-7134 or Susan Williams at 864-557-0319. You can also obtain information by e-mailing familiesfightingaddiction@yahoo.com. You can also visit the Families Fighting Addiction website at www.familiesfightingaddiction.com.

Williams also points out that an addiction support groups also meet in Pickens County every 4th Thursday night at His Pavilion of Grace, which is right across from the city hall in the city of Pickens.