Appling man killed in sport utility crash
A medical emergency is believed to be the cause of a single-vehicle wreck that killed an Appling man Monday.
Willie Rane Elam, 53, of the 6300 block of Cobbham Road, wrecked his Dodge Durango about 9 a.m. while traveling south on Ray Owens Road in Appling, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.
"We believe he had a medical event before the wreck," Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison said. "He had multiple medical problems."
Elam lost control of the SUV near Retreat Court. The Durango rolled and hit two trees, Morris said. Rescue crews had to pry open the vehicle to extricate him.
The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Reports are available at www.columbiacountyso.org:
Woman says she was robbed at hotel
A Newberry, S.C., woman was robbed during the weekend at a hotel near Interstate 20 by a man she had met at an Evans restaurant.
The 31-year-old said she met the man at Applebee's on Saturday evening. After they exchanged phone numbers, she went to her room at the Quality Inn,4073 Jimmie Dyess Parkway, she told police.
About 12:30 a.m., the man knocked on her door wearing a white mask and pointed a pistol at her when she opened it. He demanded she lie down and give him her money, which she did. Three other men wearing white masks rushed in. The man stole her laptop computer, and all four robbers left.
The man called her cell phone. When she asked for her laptop back, he threatened to shoot out her hotel room window.
Police were not able to find the robbers.
Two men charged in string of recent vehicle break-ins
Two men were arrested early Sunday after they admitted to breaking into at least six vehicles in Orchard Hill subdivision.
Brandon Lane Chapman, 18, of the 4700 block of Rollins Road in Augusta, and Dustin Paul Beasley, 18, of the 3900 block of Haley Road in Martinez, were charged with larceny. They were being held without bond in the Columbia County Detention Center on Monday, according to jail records.
A resident of the neighborhood off Columbia Road called police to report two suspicious men in the area. Police found Chapman and Beasley, who admitted they were in the in the neighborhood to break into cars. Chapman led police to at least six vehicles they had broken into and to a shed behind a nearby home, where they had stashed several stolen items, including a GPS and an iPod.
The night before, nine Orchard Hill residents reported damaged trees on their property. Police were unsure Monday whether the incidents are related.
Man attacked in parking
A Beech Island man was beaten and robbed Saturday in the parking lot of the Martinez Walmart store, 260 Bobby Jones Expressway.
The 38-year-old said that about 8:30 p.m. he was attacked by three men near the Krystal restaurant. The men stole his cell phone and $20.
The victim suffered several injuries, including black eyes and burns and bruises.
He said he initially filed a report with the security guard at the store, but police could not find that store security contacted the sheriff's office.
Martinez Columbia Fire Rescue report for May 2-8:
Structure fire, one; wood/brush/grass fire, one; vehicle fires, two; controlled/unauthorized burns, three; dumpster fire, one; activated fire alarms, eight; medical incidents, 34; vehicle accidents, seven; investigate various incidents, two; assist residents, one; mutual aid/ public safety assistance, two; and other, one.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.