Report: Man arms himself with BB gun in Darlington County kidnapping

The Darlington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported kidnapping on Monte Clare Road in the Dovesville area Thursday evening.

DOVESVILLE, SC (WBTW) – Deputies with the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported kidnapping on Monte Clare Road in the Dovesville area Thursday evening. The suspect reportedly forced an ex-girlfriend at gun point to drive him from Monte Clare Road to a location north of Hartsville.

About an hour later deputies received a call to a residence near the intersection of Old Camden Road and Ousleydale Road, according to the sheriff’s office. The suspect, who has been identified by Sheriff Wayne Byrd as William Howell Jr., 44, of Hartsville, was reportedly at that location holding another female at gun point.

It was reported to 911, that Howell said he was going to fire at officers when they arrived. Once deputies were on scene, they discovered Howell in the yard of the residence armed with a handgun. Deputies confronted the man, who surrendered and was taken into custody.

Deputies say Howell suffered a “medical emergency,” but did not specify exactly what happened to the suspect, and he was transported to a local hospital for examination. Howell is suspected of “being under the influence” at the time of the incident, although deputies did not say if they suspected the man was under the influence by alcohol or drugs.

It was later determined the handgun Howell armed himself with was a BB gun, deputies report. Sheriff Byrd says Howell remains in the hospital Friday evening following Thursday’s medical emergency. Formal charges have not yet been released.

This is an ongoing investigation, the sheriff’s office confirms, and additional information is expected to be released soon.

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