The Daily Gamecock

Assaults at Woodlands, Copper Beech under investigation

Police are investigating a pair of weekend aggravated assaults at the Woodlands and Copper Beech that hurt two people within two hours.

The first incident early Sunday morning involved a group of three or four assailants, a police report said. In the second, three people were attacked by a group of 15.

Capt. Chris Cowan, spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, said in an email that investigators don’t know if the two are connected.

Just after midnight Sunday, a security guard at Copper Beech found a 19-year-old man sitting alone in the parking lot with no shoes on. He said he’d been attacked by three or four men who took his shoes; he suffered a few scratches, a police report said.

About two hours later, just before 2 a.m., three people were in a parking lot at the Woodlands when someone threw a red cup at their car.

They got out of the car to see what hit it, a police report said, and they were “jumped by several unknown” people — about 15. The assailants went into the car and stole two cell phones, according to the report.

One woman was punched in the face and was pushed to the ground; she suffered a “large laceration” on her knee and foot. She told police she wasn’t sure who her assailants were or why she was attacked.

Over the last year, police have reported 13 assaults on the 1000 block of Southern Drive, which includes both apartment complexes, according to crime analytics website Raids Online.

Cowan said investigators are offering up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest of anyone involved in the attacks. Tips can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers at 1-888-274-6372.