CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Police Department on Wednesday announced an arrest made connected to a fatal November 25th hit and run collision on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard.
According to CPD, Herbert S. Fielding (68); of Charleston, is charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.
During a bond hearing on Wednesday afternoon, a Charleston County Judge set a $100,000 surety bond and ordered Fielding has no contact with the victim’s family. Fielding is accused of striking and killing Raul Perez last week on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard before fleeing the scene.
Fielding’s family has owned Fielding’s Homes for Funerals for decades. Fielding ran an unsuccessful campaign for a South Carolina State Senate seat and most recently lost an election for the Charleston County Coroner back in 2020.
Fielding has been in trouble with the law before, he was charged with a DUI back in 2013 after a North Charleston Police Officer pulled Fielding over for driving 10mph below the posted speed limit while changes lanes back and forth. Reports showed Fielding failed several field sobriety tests.
Witnesses say on the night of Thanksgiving Eve Fielding was traveling north along Sam Rittenberg Boulevard in a dark colored Chevy Equinox with Florida license plates when he struck the victim. Accounts say Fielding then pulled over and checked his car for damage and getting back in. Fielding would stop for a second time to again check for damage before fleeing the scene to his West Ashley home.
Witnesses were able to identify a partial plate number and originally believed it was “IEMF44.” Through searches, law enforcement and use of the Automated License Plate Reader cops identified the vehicle as a Chevy Equinox SUV bearing Florida License number IEFJF44, listed as a rental car with Enterprise Rental Car.
In an affidavit, investigators say the morning after the accident Fielding was overheard on a phone call by CPD investigators saying he believed he hit a curb or box but not a person. A victim advocate was in court and read three statements from family members of the victim.
“What kind of man does this,” read one of the statements. “My brother was not an animal, he was not a deer – he was not a box or a bag of trash at the side of the road. Raul Perez was a kind and gentle soul who was removed from this world by the accused Mr. Fielding. I am struggling to come to terms with this reality that Raul was killed by a man who didn’t even stop to check on him.”
Judge Amanda Haselden presided over the bond hearing and heard from attorneys, a victim advocate, investigators, and Fielding himself.
“By the very nature of the charges they indicate that you are a flight risk by allegedly hitting somebody, stopping twice to check your vehicle and continuing on and then there was no attempt to render aide or contact law enforcement as required by the law and I do have concerns about flight but most importantly I have concerns about the dangers you pose to others on the road.”
Members of Fielding’s family along with his attorneys declined to provide a statement of comment following the bond hearing.
Officials say that Fielding is currently held at the Al Cannon Detention Center. A bond hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
CPD is investigating.
Those with additional information are asked to contact the CPD Traffic Division at (843) 965-4084.