Cottageville S.C. police department stores their criminals in old freezers?

Get arrested in Cottageville, S.C., and your holding cell may look like this:

Gotta love the warning: “TO AVOID SUFFICATING PRISONERS, PLEASE TURN ON VENTALATION FAN PRIOR TO CLOSING CELL DOOR.”

Cottageville is the same town where former officer Randall Price shot and killed the town’s former mayor, Bert Reeves, apparently with impunity although he no longer works for the Cottageville police department.  Price was a gypsy cop, moving from police department to police department over a period of about 11 years – I don’t know if any other small town has decided to hire him again.

Price was fired from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office in 2001 after he was charged with criminal domestic violence, a charge wiped from his record after he completed a pretrial program. Blackville’s mayor fired Price in 2004 for allegedly slamming a handcuffed suspect against a car and onto pavement, the paper reported.

Allendale police fired Price in December 2006, citing excessive force complaints that included an allegation of pointing his gun at an unarmed driver during a traffic stop that resulted in no arrests. . . .

. . . In February 2010, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported that Price insisted that he had been victimized by vendettas in the small towns where he cycled through eight jobs in 11 years.

“If you make somebody mad, you are going to have to deal with it,” he told the paper. “And I am the poster child for that.”

According to the initial reports, Price and Reeves had had a disagreement when Price arrested an employee of Reeves’ construction business, and Reeves had told a friend, who was an attorney, that “he feared a town cop wanted to hurt him.”  The two found themselves on a dirt road off of Cottageville’s main highway, and Reeves was shot in the chest with Price’s service revolver.  It doesn’t appear that there were any 911 calls.

I find no information in the news articles on why the two were on the dirt road, whether Reeves was in the act of some type of crime, or why the shot was fired.  I suspect that if Price was acting in his capacity as a police officer or if there was justification for the shooting, it would have been trumpeted to news agencies, but what do I know.  Maybe someone else can fill us in.

The most recent article I see reports that the 14th Circuit Solicitor punted and turned the case over to the Feds, sending it to U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles in June of 2011, and then nothing.  The P.O.P. Factor blog picked up the story and noted in January of this year that there was still no news.

So, what happened?  Was it ever presented to a grand jury?  Was there ever an explanation for the shooting?  Did the investigation continue?  Did the feds bury it?

3 Responses to “Cottageville S.C. police department stores their criminals in old freezers?

  • LAURAN HALLECK
    4 years ago

    There is no jail and thus no holding cell in Cottageville. Arrestees are taken to county jail in W
    alterboro…

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