NEWBERRY — Austin Shane Hayes, 21, of Aiken, was arrested by the Newberry Police Department late Thursday after leading police on a chase and crashing into a police vehicle.
Hayes was charged with failure to stop for blue lights, failing to use headlights when required, hit and run, reckless driving, two charges of violating city ordinance, driving without a license and resisting/assault, beat or wound police officer serving process or while resisting arrest.
According to the Newberry Police Department, Newberry County law enforcement was looking for a suspect in an automobile theft case late Thursday night. Hayes matched the description of the suspect law enforcement officials were looking for.
However, according to Chief Roy McClurkin, Hayes had stolen a UTV from Union and was passing through Newberry.
“In our case, Hayes happened to be in the right place at the right time,” McClurkin said.
Lt. Michael Kennedy spotted Hayes on Wilson Road and a chase ensued after Kennedy spoke with Hayes.
According to McClurkin, Hayes drove through back yards and struck and damaged a fence then got back on the road. When he did so, he intentionally rammed a police vehicle that was on its way to prevent him from getting to the hospital to avoid any type of additional situation.
“The officer is OK, and the police vehicle suffered moderate damage. We will be seeking (restitution) from him for the damage through court,” McClurkin said.
After Hayes rammed the police vehicle, he went off road again then abandoned the vehicle. Bloodhounds were used to track him. When he emerged, officers arrested him. As it turns out, Hayes was not the automobile thief police were looking for.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.