18-year-old faces armed robbery, kidnapping charges after knife incident at Hartsville high

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HARTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) – An 18-year-old faces charges of armed robbery with a deadly weapon and kidnapping after an incident involving a knife at Hartsville High School.

Police say the principal called them at about 11:30 a.m. on Monday about a student who reported being held up at knifepoint while leaving the boys restroom during class change. The officer interviewed the student upon arrival.

The student told police he was on his way out of the restroom when a male wearing a blue hoodie, blue jeans with rips in the front, white shoes and a green bandana walked up to him and demanded his money. The student said at first he thought it was a friend playing a joke on him, but after a moment the suspect pulled out a black-handled knife and pointed it at him, according to the report.

The student said he let the suspect check his pockets. The suspect did not find any money, the officer said in the report, but grabbed the student’s cell phone next. The suspect looked at the phone, then gave it back to the student, and left toward the lunchroom, the officer said.

Police looked for the suspect during first lunch but did not see anyone fitting the description. The suspect was described as about 6 feet tall and heavy set. During second lunch, police saw a male standing in the lunch line who fit the description including the clothing.

Elijah Harkless, 18, was pulled out of lunch, police said, and searched. Police found a green bandana and black knife on him, according to the report.

Harkless was charged with kidnapping, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, armed robbery with a deadly weapon and criminal conspiracy. He was booked at the W. Glenn Campbell Detention Center and released on a $30,000 bond.

A 16-year-old juvenile also was involved in the incident, police said. He was taken to juvenile detention and charged with armed robbery. According to police, the juvenile told Harkless the student had money and to go to the restroom and rob him.

“We appreciate the swift response of our school resource officer and the Hartsville Police Department,” said Audrey Childers, DCSD Public Information Officer. “The safety of our students is always our highest priority.”

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