LAURENS, S.C. (WSPA) – The Laurens Police Department arrested a man in connection to a stolen vehicle on Friday.

According to officers, they have been working to install automatic license plate readers throughout the city. Officers said that they have not even installed 30% of the readers and have already received a hit for a stolen car that was stolen in Laurens on March 30th.

Officers said that a pursuit began which led to a suspect being arrested. Charles Howard, 25, was arrested.

While in custody at the hospital, Howard assaulted an officer and left the hospital on foot. A manhunt ensued to find Howard.

The SLED tracking team and officers tracked Howard for over 8.5 miles. SLED’s aviation unit out of Columbia assisted with a helicopter as well.

After a 6-hour-long manhunt to find Howard, he was arrested again after a chase and a brief altercation. Officers said that Howard had felony warrants and that is why he didn’t stop for officers and resisted arrest initially.

Howard was charged with the following:

  • general sessions bench warrants for failure to stop for blue lights
  • driving under suspension
  • grand larceny of more than $2,000 and less than $10,000
  • failure to stop for blue lights 2nd or subsequent offense
  • reckless driving
  • possession of stolen goods (vehicle)
  • unlawful escape
  • resisting arrest with assault on a police officer

The Laurens Police Department was assisted by Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, Clinton Police Department, South Carolina Highway Patrol, and SLED’s Tracking and Aviation Unit.

Howard is being held at the Laurens County Detention Center awaiting bond in Laurens.