Police: Man ‘yells about Black Lives Matter’ as he tries to take Lake City officer’s gun, then fights officer in patrol vehicle


David Waithe (Courtesy: Florence County Detention Center)

LAKE CITY, SC (WBTW) – An Horry County man faces a long list of charges after a traffic stop that led to a foot chase, a struggle for an officer’s gun and a fight inside a Lake City police vehicle.

According to a Lake City police report, officers responded to a report of a van that backed into a person and another vehicle on Saturday, and then fled the scene.

Later, police saw the vehicle fitting the description from the incident back out of a bar parking lot onto Church Street and stop there. One of the officer’s noted that the tag on the van was not the proper tag for that vehicle. The tag on the van belonged to a truck, according to police.

After an officer noted that the driver was driving consistent with someone under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, a traffic stop was initiated. The suspect’s vehicle did not stop immediately and instead led police on a chase on Highway 52, reaching speeds above 90 miles per hour.

David Waithe (Courtesy: Florence County Detention Center)

Officers say they saw the vehicle swerving back and forth before slamming into a ditch. Police say the driver then fled on foot across a field. The driver, David Leonard Waithe from the Conway area, was then arrested in a patch of weeds behind a home.

Police say Waithe refused to stand up once he was taken into custody. Waithe then “started yelling about Black Lives Matter and that he knew officers wanted to punch and kick him in the face and for officers to go ahead and do it”, according to the report. The officers then picked up Waithe and started carrying him back to the patrol vehicles.

At one point, police say Waithe tried to disarm one of the officers.

Multiple officers loudly told Waithe to let go of the gun, according to the report. After Waithe reportedly ignored the commands, the officer used a “hard empty hand control” technique to get his gun back.

Police say Waithe continued to resist arrest as they worked to get him in a patrol vehicle.

Police later observed an open beer bottle and an open liquor bottle in or near the van driven by Waithe.

As the officer who had previously been involved in the struggle for his gun was taking Waithe to jail, the officer informed other officers that Waithe had started fighting with him while he was driving and needed a car with a cage. Other officers later assisted and were able to remove Waithe from the vehicle and get the situation under control.

The report indicates that Waithe also damaged the officer’s electronics inside his vehicle. During a search of Waithe’s wallet, police say they found his identification card and a blue bag containing cocaine.

A deputy with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office then took Waithe to the Florence County Detention Center. Upon arrival, Waithe told the correctional officers that they “were going to have to earn their money tonight”, according to the report. Waithe was then placed into a restraint chair.

The report indicates Waithe was charged with assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, failure to stop for a blue light, possession of cocaine, an ABC violation, driving under suspension, open container, operating uninsured, improper tag and unregistered vehicle. Online booking records indicate additional charges.

Waithe was released from jail on bond two days after he was booked, according to booking records.

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