Deputy drove drunk in cop car, fired gun at two people, South Carolina officials say


A South Carolina deputy was arrested Sept. 23, officials say.

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A deputy drove his patrol car under the influence, rammed into another vehicle and fired a gun at two people, South Carolina officials say.

It started when the deputy, Jason Erwin, 44, was involved in a collision on Highway 221 in Greenwood County on Wednesday, Sept. 21, according to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division arrest warrants. Erwin was driving his patrol car at the time of the crash.

The two people in the other vehicle stopped and got out, unsure if the deputy was a law enforcement officer as he exited his car in shorts and a tank top, they told SLED agents. The two noted that the man was acting erratic and seemed intoxicated.

While one of the other vehicle’s passengers dialed 911, Erwin put on a traffic safety vest before approaching in an “aggressive” manner, SLED agents say. “Fearing for their lives,” the two got back in their vehicle and drove away, still on the phone with 911, the documents say.

As law enforcement approached, the other vehicle’s driver tried to pull over, and Erwin used his patrol car to ram into their vehicle, officials say.

Two McCormick County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived, and as they attempted to help the other vehicle’s driver and passenger, Erwn got out of his car with a gun and announced, “I’m going to shoot you” in an “aggressive tone,” agents say. He then fired a shot in the direction of the other car, the warrants say.

The deputy later admitted that he acted as a law enforcement officer while off-duty after consuming two hard seltzers, officials say. He also told agents that he had a flask of bourbon with him that he consumed during and after the incident.

On Friday, Sept. 23, Erwin was arrested by SLED and charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of misconduct in office, a SLED news release says. He was booked at the McCormick County Detention Center and is being held at Greenwood County Detention Center. Erwin also faces a charge of driving under the influence from the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Moira Ritter covers real-time news for McClatchy. She is a graduate of Georgetown University where she studied government, journalism and German. Previously, she reported for CNN Business.

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