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Driver charged with desecrating cemetery during car chase

November 23, 2021 GMT

RAVENEL, S.C. (AP) — A driver has ben charged with desecration of a human burial ground after he drove over several gravestones and knocked over a headstone in a Charleston County cemetery as he tried to run from police, investigators said.

When deputies checking a suspicious vehicle near the Saint Paul United Methodist Church Cemetery turned on their blue lights, the 31-year-old driver sped off through the graveyard, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office told news outlets.

The early Monday chase reached speeds of more than 110 mph (177 kph) on U.S. Highway 17 and state Highway 162, deputies said.

The driver hit a tree but kept going and at one point the chase went down roads so rough a sheriff’s patrol car had its bumper torn off, investigators said.

Deputies said the chase ended when the car got stuck in a mud hole.

Officers found the driver’s girlfriend, who was wanted on unrelated charges, stuck in waist-deep mud and a police dog found the driver trying to hide in pine needles, deputies said.

Along with desecrating the cemetery, the driver was also charged with receiving stolen goods and failure to stop for blue lights.