Pickens sheriff stands by deputy's actions after traffic stop - FOX Carolina 21

Pickens sheriff stands by deputy's actions after traffic stop

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A still from dash cam video of Wallace Bryant's arrest. (Source: Pickens Co. Sheriff's Office) A still from dash cam video of Wallace Bryant's arrest. (Source: Pickens Co. Sheriff's Office)
PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Pickens County deputies are standing by the actions of one of their own Sunday afternoon after a traffic stop turned into an arrest.

Deputies shared dashcam video with FOX Carolina, showing a minivan speeding down Highway 123 near the Walmart in Central. 

The man behind that wheel, Wallace Bryant, said he knew he was speeding, and knew he was being pulled over, but kept driving because his wife needed to get out of the car.

"I stuck my hand out the window and motioned (at the deputy)," said Bryant. "(I) went up the road, because she needed to use the restroom, and had some business to take care of at the bank."

Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said his deputy didn't know what they had come across when they made the traffic stop. He said the video shows the deputy's actions were "by the book".

The video shows the deputy following Bryant's minivan off the highway and to the Walmart parking lot. The deputy got out of his vehicle, asking for Bryant's license and registration while also ordering Bryant's wife to stay in the car. Moments later, while the deputy is calling for backup, the minivan takes off.

Bryant said he only meant to find a parking space and not obstruct traffic, but deputies said they had not been able to assess the situation, and had to be prepared for the worst.

"We never know (what's going to happen) when we're walking up," said Clark.

The dashcam video shows the deputy ordering Bryant step out of the van, eventually arresting him. The video shows Bryant not staying still and he could clearly be heard saying he was in pain several times before other law enforcement arrived.

Deputies believe he was resisting arrest. Bryant said the asphalt he was up against was too hot, causing burns to his skin.

Clark said Bryant would've likely received just a warning ticket if he had stopped and stayed stopped.

"It was just a series of things that kept on going that escalated a simple traffic stop to a large mess," said Clark.

Among that series of events was also an odd coincidence. Bryant's daughter's boyfriend is Shaq Lay, a man who was arrested earlier in April after leading authorities on a similar chase in Pickens County.

Deputies said Lay was in the minivan with Bryant Sunday afternoon, but had no direct involvement in Bryant's case.

Bryant doesn't believe he is a victim of brutality, but he said what happened to him is prompting him to pursue further action, possibly even going to the governor.

"It's overkill," he said.

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