The Daily Gamecock

In Brief: January 23, 2013

County sheriff searching for rock-throwing suspect 


Somebody’s throwing rocks at drivers on the interstate, and Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is ready to throw the book at him.

Over the past two weeks, the Sheriff’s Department has received 10 reports of someone throwing rocks or bits of cinder blocks at traffic from highway overpasses, the side of the road and other cars, The State reported. Most have been on I-26, near Broad River Road and Chapin.

The department thinks the suspect is a white man with blond or brown hair, according to The State, and Lott told the newspaper he thinks that whoever’s behind the string of incidents doesn’t realize how dangerous throwing rocks could be.

It could, he said, startle the driver enough to take them off the road or into another car, so the department will charge the suspect with attempted murder if they find him, multiple media outlets reported.

—Thad Moore, News Editor


Scott takes oath as police chief for second time

Columbia has a new police chief — sort of.

Randy Scott was sworn back into office Tuesday after a brief retirement last month.

Changes in the state’s retirement system forced Scott to take a 15-day break before re-applying for his position, The State reported.

After taking his oath, Scott praised officers in the department for their accomplishments and for reducing the amount of public complaints regarding rude and abusive officers.

— Sarah Ellis, Assistant News Editor


SC State nearing land deal before indictments

South Carolina State University was on the verge of buying a $3.2 million stretch of land when the FBI broke up the deal and a grand jury indicted the university’s chairman and police chief, WIS reported.

In return for convincing the school to buy the 120-acre plot of land near its campus, Jonathan Pinson, the university’s board chairman, would have received a $110,000 Porche Cayenne, and Michael Bartley, the university police chief, would have gotten $30,000 and a new ATV, according to WIS. Both men were charged with conspiracy in connection with the kickback scheme.

Had the FBI not come in December, the deal would have likely gone through this month, according to WIS.

Pinson is out on bond and faces up to 25 years of jail time and a $250,000 fine if he’s convicted, according to the TV station. Bartley pleaded guilty and faces up to five years when he’s sentenced.

—Thad Moore, News Editor