SC deputies injured, suspect dead after stealing baton, striking officials

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LADSON, S.C. -One man is dead after he got into a fight with two Charleston County sheriffs deputies. It happened Sunday afternoon on Highway 78 in Ladson.

The suspect is dead, but he was not shot. SLED is now investigating to find out what happened.

Neighbors like Tamara Reid say they aren’t sure what happened, and that has them concerned. “Just very curious about what happened. We really don’t know what happened. This is a very peaceful neighborhood.”
“My son and I went out and saw it was blocked and it was all these police officers out there and we were just trying to figure out what was going on,” neighbor Rich Horton said.

According to the police report, one officer was being treated for injuries in his patrol car, and a second was walking to an ambulance when other deputies arrived.

Officials say deputies were called because the suspect was walking on highway 78 in traffic barefoot.  Deputies Robert Bittner and Levi Reiter responded. The man was able to get hold of one of their batons and began hitting the deputies.

The deputies tased the man, but the taser did not work. SLED is investigating to see if the taser did not activate, or perhaps the suspect just did not respond to the shock of the taser.
Up to 10 bystanders helped the deputies gain control over the suspect. He was taken to the hospital where he died. No word on the cause of death.

Body cam video does exist, and has been turned over to SLED. SLED says that video is exempt from the freedom of information act, but they could still release it at some point.