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Deputies: S.C. man kills himself after chase and standoff

December 20, 2021 GMT

WELLFORD, S.C. (AP) — Officials say an upstate South Carolina man killed himself Monday after deputies tear-gassed his car while trying to arrest him after an hourslong standoff.

A Spartanburg County deputy tried to pull over Robert Alan Beach II of Boiling Springs late Sunday, said Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Bobo. Beach had active warrants for domestic violence and pointing a firearm, Bobo said, and had cut a Greenville County monitoring device from his ankle.

Beach refused to pull over, resulting in a chase that ended with a “forcible stop” in Wellford, Bobo said. Deputies approached to find Beach with a gun to his head, threatening to kill himself.

Deputies set up a perimeter and called for a SWAT team and negotiators. After 7 a.m. Monday, sheriff’s officials decided to tear-gas the car, and Bobo said Beach shot himself “in front of numerous deputies.”

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Beach was pronounced dead at a Spartanburg hospital, said Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger.

Officials said in April that Beach barricaded himself into a hotel room in Duncan when police tried to serve a warrant. A negotiator persuaded him to surrender then.

Beach was charged with child abuse in 2018 after a 2-month-old infant was brought to a Greenville hospital with severe brain injuries. Greenville County deputies said then that Beach was on drugs when he hit the child, causing bleeding around the eyes.