Deputies Shoot Driver's Car - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/17/04

Deputies Shoot Driver's Car

A bullet hole in the car. A bullet hole in the car.

Picture this: you're driving down the road, minding you own business when police start shooting at you. That's exactly what happened to Mary Ann Rentz of Effingham County. She was driving to work early in the morning, and she says police just went after the wrong car with an amount of force that could have killed her.

Rentz has an early shift at the Winn Dixie in Claxton. On her usual way to work on Saturday down Highway 280, she realized someone was following her. "When I got to Blitchton to turn I realized it was a law car," she said.

And up ahead, she could see blue lights flashing. She slowed down, worried something could be in the road. "By the time I got to the law car that was ahead of me, a big boom went off, not realizing they were shooting at me."

She pulled over, shaking and crying, scared of what was going on. "I could see someone coming up behind me," she said. "There was a deputy sheriff who had a gun in my face."

Rentz said it was then Bryan County sheriff's deputies realized they made a terrible mistake. "Told me it was a mistake, they had the wrong car, they were looking for four guys with machine guns in a small car," Rentz told us.

A bullet hole remains in the front of the car on the driver's side. "I feel that my life was in danger," she said.

And she doesn't understand why the deputies would act so quickly, when she was obviously not trying to avoid police, which is what men with machine guns would more than likely do. "I don't think they would have slowed down to 15 miles per hour, I would think they'd mash on the gas."

The Bryan County Sheriff's Department says the incident is under investigation and they can't comment on it at this time. Rentz says the sheriff's office is paying for the damage, but she is looking into getting an attorney.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

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