Yemassee Police Officer recalls chase that sent him to the hospital

Less than a month ago, a police chase in Yemassee sent one officer to the hospital.
Yemassee Police Cpl. Sam Watson
Yemassee Police Cpl. Sam Watson(WTOC-TV)
Updated: Dec. 18, 2019 at 10:57 PM EST
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YEMASSEE, S.C. (WTOC) -Less than a month ago, a police chase in Yemassee sent one officer to the hospital.

The chase happened back on November 22, and the officer taken to the hospital was Corporal Sam Watson, who has been with the department more than 20 years.

“Right here on William Campbell and this is actually where he stopped. This is where we initially stopped at," Cpl. Watson said while driving the route. "Then the pursuit started and we went down this road right here.”

Cpl. Watson was involved in a chase that led them around dangerous curves at night going at least 80 miles per hour.

The suspect in the car in the chase was Keonte Williams. The dash cam video shows Cpl. Watson tried to pull him over for speeding. The car stopped, then took off again, beginning the pursuit.

“Its very dangerous,” said Cpl. Watson. “I think that’s the first thing that we’re worried about is the safety of the community.”

According to the incident report, Williams was arrested that night for speeding and failure to stop for blue lights, but one of the men with him got away on foot.

The man who ran away, police say was Andre Riley.

According to another incident report, Riley was arrested on December 4th for robbing the Dollar General in Yemassee.

The report says he grabbed an employee by her neck and held a gun to her temple, threatening to kill her and everyone there if she didn’t open their safe.

Cpl. Watson says he still has some tenderness from ligaments he tore trying to chase Riley down that night in Nov., but he said even as a child, he always wanted to be a police officer and help others, and he believes that is exactly what he did.

“I’ve been doing it like, 23 years. That’s all I know. You know? Just being there for people."

Today, Cpl. Watson is back patrolling the same area, serving the community he loves.

He has just one request for the people who may be watching.

“If you see those blue lights or sirens, pull over, because you don’t know where we’re going to or what we’re behind. Like I said, safety is first priority.”

The incident report says that Andre Riley has been charged with kidnapping and armed robbery for the Dollar General Robbery.

Shortly after WTOC spoke with Cpl. Watson, he was promoted to Sargent of the Patrol Division for Yemassee Police at their annual Christmas party.

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