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RHPD reports: Vaping incidents at local school sends one to hospital
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Matter of record: A Richmond Hill High School student was recently taken to an area hospital by Bryan County EMS after she apparently had a bad reaction to smoking a vape, according to an initial Richmond Hill Police Department incident report released Sept. 10.

The report said the incident happened at some point before noon, Aug. 27, when a school nurse told officers a female student was acting strange. The report said the girl had dilated pupils and vomited, and officers “requested EMS and the girls’ mother.”

The girl’s mother had her daughter taken to a hospital to be checked out.

Administrators at the school later told police another girl had “vape paraphernalia” in her car, and that two girls - including the victim “vaped” in the parking lot. Parents were called, came to the school and met with administrators “and to take their children home. The students are being disciplined by the school.”

Vaping, or inhaling and exhaling vapors from an electronic cigarette, is against Bryan County Schools policy, and students face two-day suspensions for a first offense, according to the 2020 student and parent handbook.

Obstruction: It’s getting sadder and weirder out there. Police were sent to mile marker 82 on I-95 around 3:45 p.m. Aug. 28 “in reference to a male stripping on the interstate and screaming,” a report said.

One witness told officers he and his father stopped to help the man, who was waving down traffic. The witness said the 56-year-old driver of an 18-wheeler, “was yelling that he was on fire,” and was found by police in a t-shirt and underwear, “carrying his shorts in his hands walking in the right lane of (I-95) northbound traffic.”

“I immediately exited my vehicle and told the male, later identified (as a man with a Jacksonville, Fla. address) to come out of the roadway and explain what was going on,” the reporting officer wrote. “The white male passed me and stared at my marked patrol unit and advised that he believes someone is trying to get him. When I attempted to inquire as to what he was referring to he made statements that made no sense.”

The officer reported “it was evident that either suffering from a reaction to narcotics or a mental breakdown. Either way, (he) was a threat to himself as well as others which was evident by him running in the roadway in his underwear.”

Then, the man told the officer there was a naked man in his patrol vehicle, and the officer called for help from Bryan County Sheriff’s office, “due to other city units being occupied at the moment,” the report said.

The officer noted the man was foaming at the mouth, a sign of possible drug reactions, and thought “this may be a situation where I may have to take him into custody by force so that he could be seen by a health professional,” the report said.

“As (the man’s) actions were erratic and unpredictable my goal was to keep him near the front of my patrol vehicle and away from the interstate to avoid an accident and wait for an additional unit to arrive before my attempt at apprehension.”

The man, however, said he was afraid the officer was trying to kidnap him.

“As I continued to attempt to get (the man) to cooperate he began to wave his shorts he wasn’t wearing, in the air in a circular motion while waving his other hand that had his cell phone in it.”

The officer kept trying to calm the man down but “(he) then suddenly went back towards his truck stating that ‘some guy’ was in there, and then screamed at the officer ‘You’re trying to do something to me with that magic, you’re trying to electrify me,” the report said.

What’s more, the man was now near the edge of the road and waving at motorists, which had the potential to cause a wreck. The officer reported he tried to distract the man by telling him to put his pants back on, but the man kept talking, then took off running.

The officer then had “no choice,” but to tase the man “and end this encounter before he ran out into the roadway,” and eventually was able to get the man down.

As backup arrived to help get the man into a car, the officer asked for EMS and as this happened, “an 18-wheeler struck an SUV adjacent to our location causing a chain reaction accident,” and the officer had to ask for more help.

Eventually the man made it to a hospital, and an officer inventorying his truck found “a metallic smoking device and a metal push rod within the cab,” the report said.

When the man was later released, he was taken to Bryan County Jail for obstruction of a law enforcement officer and possession of drug related objects.

Hit and run: A woman called police around 4:20 p.m. Aug. 30 because her car was hit by a woman in another car. The complainant said she was in the left hand turn lane on Highway 144 near Ellis Drive and stopped in traffic when a Dodge Charger came out of a business on the right hand side. “The Charger cut across all lanes of traffic on 144 west bound attempting to travel onto Ellis Drive,” and hit the complainant’s SUV.

“(Complainant) stated that the Charger stopped, and the driver turned to look at her and ‘flipped me off,’” the report said. That driver was described as a black woman in her mid to late 30s, possibly 40s. The Charger then turned onto Ellis Drive, and the complainant followed, taking photos of the Charger, which she showed police. The tag came back to a Charger with an expired registration and “unknown insurance,” and owned by a South Bryan man. A deputy went to find the owner, who said the car “was primarily driven (by a woman) and also stated that she knows not to drive that vehicle.”

The deputy and the officer spoke to the woman, who said she didn’t drive it. She also said it wasn’t insured. “She denies that she was driving the vehicle and believes that someone else was driving the vehicle and has a history of her car being stolen.”

The woman said at that time she was “tending to her horses and was away from her vehicle so she could not have known if her car was gone or not.”

The complainant got a case number. Her photos were taken as evidence.

Domestic dispute: Police were sent to a Richmond Place subdivision address shortly after 7 a.m. Sept. 3 due to a verbal argument between a man and wife. There, they met the husband standing outside, who “stated that the argument erupted this morning about 15 minutes before he placed the 911 call. He stated that his wife … became angry as they were preparing to evacuate due to Hurricane Dorian.”

The husband said the argument had been going on a few days “because she wants to evacuate to see one of her best friends and he wants to take this opportunity to visit his son in Alabama,” the report said, and the husband said he spent the night in the guest room to keep the argument from getting worse.

“(He) stated that this morning, after he believed she left the residence, he went into their master bedroom and started to pack for the trip to Alabama,” the report said. “While in his bedroom he decided to lay down in their bed. He stated that as he was in bed, (his wife) entered their bedroom and threw a bowl of oatmeal in his direction, at him.”

The man was asked if he was injured but refused to answer. He told police he wanted her to leave and he called 911 after his wife told her daughter to call 911.

Officers saw the oatmeal, but the man wouldn’t say if it hit him and the woman “did not want to cooperate” and evacuated. Nobody was arrested, but because the argument happened in front of two children, the incident was reported to the Department of Family and Children’s Services.

Possession of meth: A Savannah man was arrested around 10 p.m. after police were sent to J.F. Gregory Park “in reference to a subject requesting a ride from law enforcement to Chatham County,” a report said.

The man was under the pavilion waiting on police. “I asked the male what was going on to which he stated he was there meeting with a female. The male stated that the female advised him that she needed to leave due to the curfew that was placed on the city due to the arriving hurricane,” the report said.

Ultimately, police wound up having to search the man, and found what they identified as Clonazepam, Tramadol Hydrochloride and meth. The man was taken to jail.

Matter of record: Police were called to an Osprey Drive address around 7 a.m. Aug. 24 “in reference to a subject laying in a driveway at the location, who appeared to be bleeding from the head.”

Officers met and identified the man, who was on his way to a home just up (or down) the street “and woke up at our current location,” a report said. “(The man) stated he and supervisor went drinking in a local bar, his supervisor left and he began to walk home around 0200 hours which at that time he was aware of his surroundings. (The man) stated he did not remember what had occurred after leaving the bar and attempting to walk home. The suspected blood from (the man’s) head was tobacco and saliva.”

The man looked like he had a run-in with something, based on the report. He had a black left eye and there was swelling above his right eye, but the man said those were caused when he tripped at home. At any rate, EMS showed up, the man said he was OK and didn’t want help.

The homeowner who reported the man said he was alerted by an older woman “who left the area after she informed him,” the report said.

“Due to the length of time that had passed, I determined (the man) to be coherent and past his alcoholic stupor,” the reporting officer wrote. “(He) was steady on his feet and able to form proper sentence structures when questioned. I informed (him) that being intoxicated in public is an arrestable offense. (He) and I discussed making a plan and better options for transportation in the future. I transported (the man) to his residence …..”

Suspended license, drugs, headlights, obstruction, etc: An officer monitoring traffic around 8:30 a.m. Aug. 19 saw a car headed north on Highway 17 without headlights on despite the rain. He pulled the car over and “made contact with the driver,” who handed over her driver’s license. While running it through dispatch, the officer noticed the photo didn’t look like the driver and the height and weight was – “The height and weight listed on the license was 5’05” and 200 lbs and the driver was shorter and had a very small frame.”

The woman denied giving a false name, though she later “advised me that the information she had provided me was her sister’s ….”

The officer checked the woman’s name and learned her license had been suspended for failing to show up in court.

She was put in the back of another patrol, and the passenger, a kid, didn’t have a license, so the car was inventoried prior to its being impounded.

That’s when the officer allegedly “discovered a glass jar labeled ‘weed’ that had remnants of marijuana inside.” It was seized as evidence, the car was towed and the passenger was taken to RHPD “where her mother arrived to take custody of her,” and signed a form.

Matter of record: Richmond Hill’s traffic has been known to bring out the best in drivers. Especially on I-95. Here, police were called to the Travel America Truck stop around 7:20 p.m. Aug. 26 “in reference to a possible road rage incident.”

There, an officer met with a man who said he was on Sommers Boulevard and trying to pull into the truck stop as another vehicle was leaving.

The man said the other vehicle was blocking him from getting in, “so he motioned the driver of his intentions to turn into the parking lot,” the report said.

He told RHPD that driver “’flipped him the middle finger,’ and followed him to the gas pumps.”

The complainant said that when he parked at the pump “he observed the other driver had backed up near his vehicle. (Complainant) observed the driver exit the vehicle and approach him with his hand in his waistband, yelling something angrily at him.”

That’s when the complainant said he got out of his car “and produced his badge and gun, but kept the gun at a low ready,” while telling the other fellow that he had his wife and small child with him “and advised the other subject to leave him alone.”

The mad driver “left the scene without further incident,” the report said, while noting the complainant “was a South Carolina state trooper and required a report for his troop commander because the gun he produced was his service weapon.” There was no video of the incident, and the state trooper got a case number.

Matter of record: An officer was sent to an area around Interchange Drive around 2:30 p.m. Aug. 28 because a man was “urinating in public,” a report said. The officer found the man, who was so intoxicated “he couldn’t stand up without assistance.”

The man said he’d been kicked out by his family and had no place to stay. While the officer was talking to the man, a woman drove by and offered to help him find somewhere to stay. She signed a form “receipt of intoxicated person” and the man was escorted to her vehicle after being warned it was against city ordinances to be drunk in public.

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