A Beaufort County man spent nearly a week in jail for a crime he didn't commit.
Tarrie Reynolds says he was at the wrong place at the wrong time when he stopped by Sun House gas station to use the payphone. It just so happens, that's the same day someone used that same payphone to call in a bomb threat at Dan Vaden Chevrolet.
"I went to use the payphone to call my sister to ask to borrow a 14 millimeter deep well socket," said Reynolds.
Reynolds is a mechanic. He had just started a new job.
Beaufort county sheriff's deputies didn't believe him.
Just a few hours after he hung up the phone, they went to the shop where he worked and arrested him. It was his third day on the job, and his first job in nearly two years.
As they were putting him in handcuffs, Reynolds asked them why.
"They said we got you on video surveillance using the payphone to call in that bomb threat. They said they went off the video surveillance. I kept telling them they got the wrong man," Reynolds said.
Reynolds said he spent six days in the Beaufort County Detention Center before deputies realized the time stamp on the surveillance video was wrong.
According to deputies, Deondera Smalls, 18, turned himself in on Feb. 20 and was charged with making the bomb threat.
Reynolds is glad deputies realized the video was wrong, and that smalls confessed, but he said that's not enough, the arrest changed his life.
"Well it ain't the same as it was. People look at me different," Reynolds said.
Reynolds admits he's no angel. He has spent some time in jail for crimes he committed years ago but he says none of it put him in the public spotlight quite like this one.
He said he's considering suing the sheriff's department for damaging his reputation.
WTOC contacted the sheriff's department for comment, but they declined, saying the investigation is still open.
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:38 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:38:31 GMT
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