MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Police have charged a Mullins man after crews responded to a fire in the room of a barricaded person at a Myrtle Beach resort.
Kenneth Beachum, 33, has been charged with arson, calling in a false bomb threat, false fire alarm, and burglary in the second degree after barricading himself in a room at the Yachtsman Resort for more than four hours on Thursday.
Officers were called to the Yachtsman after a bomb threat to the Olympic Pancake House led officers there. While investigating the bomb threat, Beachum allegedly pulled the fire alarm on the resort’s seventh floor, forcing guests out of their room, police said.
Beachum then entered a room on the seventh floor and barricaded himself inside, and contacted dispatch by phone, police said. Dispatchers and negotiators spoke to him by phone until he threw the phones off the balcony.
Beachum at one point told Myrtle Beach dispatch he was going to set off the bomb he said he placed at Olympic Flame Pancake House in 20 minutes, according to warrants obtained by News13.
Detectives and negotiators were able to talk to him from an adjoining room. At about 4:45 p.m., officers could smell a strong odor of smoke after Beachum allegedly set fire to furniture in the room, police said. The sprinkler system contained the fire, but the officers and firefighters made entry into the room to prevent loss of life or property.
At one point, a detention officer for MBPD went into the room in an effort to try and calm him so medical staff could attend to him, warrants say. Officers were able to detain Beachum on the balcony and he was safely taken into custody.
Beachum spat on a detention officer while at the Grand Strand Medical Center after the initial incident, according to the warrant.
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“This was outstanding work done by officers and our law enforcement and fire department partners,” said Chief Amy Prock. “This was a rapidly changing incident and required a joint response from several agencies. Our partnerships and training resulted in a positive ending, and I am proud of our team for their courage and for safely taking Beachum into custody.”
Beachum was given a $385,000 surety bond at a bond hearing Friday afternoon.
Count on News13 for updates to this developing story.