Man arrested for desecrating burial ground while running from Charleston County deputies


CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A 31-year-old man was arrested for running from deputies and desecrating a burial ground in southern Charleston County early Monday morning.

Deputies with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in a graveyard in Ravenel sometime after midnight.

One of the responding deputies shined their spotlight into the car while another approached in a separate vehicle. But once the driver realized it was law enforcement, he started the vehicle and accelerated through the graveyard.

While attempting to leave, the suspect, later identified as 31-year-old William Lee Chesser, drove over several marked gravestones, and hit a small headstone, knocking it over.

William Lee Chesser (Charleston County Detention Center booking photo)

The chase continued on Tolberts Cove Road and onto Highway 162 where deputies said Chesser kept waving his arm out the window as if deputies should pass him.

Chesser eventually led deputies down a small path through the woods and into a yard on Old Jacksonboro Road where he struck a tree. He stopped for a moment but then continued at speeds of 112 MPH on Old Jacksonboro Road.

A deputy attempted to hit the vehicle with stop sticks on the corner of Highway 165 and Old Jacksonboro Road but was not successful.

The chase continued onto a rough dirt road portion of County Line Road, which caused damage to the deputy’s vehicle.

Chesser eventually became stuck in a large mud hole on County Line Road, but he jumped out of the car and ran into the woods.

Amanda Ray (Charleston County Detention Center booking photo)

A passenger, Amanda Ray, was about waist deep in the mud when deputies reached the car. Once detained, she told them her boyfriend was driving and that he ran into the woods – but she didn’t know why he initially ran from them.

Ray was wanted on several warrants through another agency and was taken into custody.

After a search in the woods, Chesser was located laying down in thick pine needles and was taken into custody. The car also came back as stolen out of Goose Creek.

Chesser is being charged with failure to stop for blue lights, desecration of a human burial ground and receiving stolen goods.

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